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Here’s the catch: Romney only controls the money raised by his campaign. The money raised by the RNC is controlled by the RNC. The money raised by Karl Rove’s American Crossroads super PAC is controlled by Rove and his partners. And while these groups want Romney to be president, they are not solely devoted to the task of electing Romney as president. If they are devoted to anything, it’s to blocking Obama.

Which leads to Romney’s nightmare scenario: If things don’t turn around for Romney soon, those super PACs may give up on the task of electing Romney as president and turn to the task of encircling Obama’s second term with a Republican House and a Republican Senate.
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23 comments
 
Nice seeing you active on G+ here, Ezra.  I never think to go check your blog when you're not.
 
This:

...in the last 15 elections, which are all the elections we have accurate polling for, every candidate who has led in the polls at this point in the cycle has gone on to win in November.

and this:

At some point, if Romney looks likely to lose, the RNC and the super PACs are going to move to a strategy of damage control,....

Statistically speaking, then, aren't we already at "some point?"
Ken M.
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That sounds like Obama's nightmare scenario too!
 
It's hard to get people excited about down ticket races when the standard bearer is unable to articulate a convincing reason to vote for the ticket. Especially when the down ticket Republicans have the same positions on the issues as Romney. The Republicans have unpopular and absurd positions on the issues, and they may finally be at the point where more advertising only makes the public more aware of just how empty the right wing ideology really iis.
 
The GOP aren't going to have a huge problem shifting funds down to smaller races - this is a crucial part of their strategy anyway, and is hugely effective at strangling what there is of the Progressive agenda from the county, city and state level. It's key to their rebuilding for 2016.
 
How come no one has reported Mr. Romney's win-win position on taxes. He hasn't taken advantage of some deductible expenses (despite the fact that he said if he paid more taxes than he had to he didn't deserve to be president). He's not stupid and I'm sure he knows that he has about three years from the time of his original filing to file a revised return and get back his overpayment. I suspect he'll do that regardless of the outcome of the election.
 
+Clark Crouch I've seen it mentioned. You know that amended return is done, just awaiting a stamp. 
 
It would be a smart move to cut loses on Romney. 
 
I know I'm busily campaigning for +Gary Johnson in my own circles. I don't know a single person who's passionately supporting Romney.
 
YAY!! Another Republican cockblock for 2 more years! YES!!
 
Sure I want something other than obama, but the libertarians are on most issues even worse than obama.
 
I would say I agree but how did they let this clown be the nominee? Makes you wonder who is really at the helm...
 
no-one is at the helm.  the reasonable/moderate people were pushed out by the crazies and have been marginalized or are sitting this one out.  romney only got elected governor because he was a moderate.  today he can't drink enough of the nutball kool-aid. 
 
+Geoffrey Swenson Yeah, those crazy libertarians, trying to take over government and leave you alone. How dare they! :)
 
I don't think that Libertarian ideology is as benign as its supporters would have it.

The libertarians would rather trade what they perceive to be the tyranny of government for what I feel would be an even worse and non-democratic rule of corporate oligarchies with a feeble central government unable or unwilling to impose the rule of law to protect the public.

I would prefer to pay more taxes to have well funded public services, and robust regulations with teeth if necessary to make sure that businesses play fair with their customers, maintain the public safety, and don't pollute the environment.

I believe in good government, and the Libertarians want to destroy it. No thanks.

(Edited for clarity)
 
i think there are few libertarianisms that many democrats support, such as gov't staying out of what you do in your home or bodies, but most aspects of libertarianism doesn't really work.  it's not like we live in tiny towns in the Old West.
 
+Geoffrey Swenson Right there with you. If libertarianism is a thing, why are Ron and Rand Paul still in the GOP? If Bernie Sanders can step out on his own as the only elected Socialist in a center-right political system, where's their moral fiber? Some convictions they have if they won't fly their flag.

Scratch most, if not all, libertarians and you find an anarchist.

If Gary Johnson were elected, how would he lead? He has no party, no caucus, no allies, nothing to bargain with. Anyone who doesn't think working with a legislature requires bargaining and compromise hasn't paid attention. 
 
+paul beard: "Scratch most, if not all, libertarians and you find an anarchist."

I completely agree. In my adult life, I've gone from fiscal conservative, to libertarian, to Objectivist, to anarcho-capitalist. Anarchism (right Anarchism) is the logical conclusion of libertarian thought.

Rand Paul is not really a libertarian by any but the most inclusive definition. Ron Paul is in the GOP because he wants to change the GOP, not because he fits in there. If you want to get down to it, I believe Ron Paul would probably call himself a Voluntaryist if not for his consideration of his own personal political goals.

If Gary Johnson were elected, then he'd lead as a Republican. He was a Republican until he was ignored by the party and left to seek a more effective forum for his ideas.

He won't be elected, though. With luck and hard work, he'll get 5%+1 of the vote, and we'll see a stronger, more vocal Libertarian Party in the 2016 presidential election. That's the real, rational goal here for the LP.

As for conviction - well, that's hard. I live in rural Arkansas, and I'm surrounded by Christian conservatives. I'm an upfront Anarcho-Capitalist, and I want to run for office - I completely understand why someone like Ron Paul would want to identify as a conservative when in reality the ideas he holds would better be described by another term. Not only is he pandering to his constituency, but the fact is, constantly defending your ideology is exhausting. I enjoy it 90% of the time, but it also pisses me off when my peers refuse to consider my ideas because they can't get over the label applied to me.
 
Hi.  Just read your op-ed from today's WP on "Moderate Mitt."
You point out that he did not mention climate change during the debate.  True.  But, he did mention it during the convention.  Saying something very close to, "[President Obama wants to save the oceans; I want to save your family]"  (you will need to look up the exact quote).  I am surprised that I have not read or heard anyone that has picked up on that remark and addressed it intelligently.  Perhaps you might, Ezra?  Thanks!

PS-- please do not surmise from this comment that I am making a comment on candidates.  I am strictly commenting on issues, and think there is room for the climate and environmental debate in this election.  So far, it has been absent.
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