Conservatives are still divided

The GOP's Final 4 Presidential Candidates

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

By Adam Bitely — After a chaotic counting process in Nevada, which seems to be the norm with caucuses this year, Mitt Romney grabbed 50 percent of the vote. That left Gingrich, Paul and Santorum splitting up the remaining 50 percent while trying to convince supporters that they still have a reasonable shot at making it to the GOP convention this summer.

Add to that fact that Minnesota could result in Rick Santorum picking up his first win since Iowa and Newt Gingrich will suddenly be in third place as far as states won and potentially in number of delegates for the convention. Suddenly, Santorum could likely be the hyped up Romney alternative and Gingrich could be relegated to the back of the bus yet again.

And what about Ron Paul? His strategy is to pick up delegates wherever he can to amass a sizable presence at the nominating convention later this year. So far, Paul has picked up 9 delegates, putting him in last place, but that could all change this month as he focuses on smaller caucuses where he has invested a lot of time. He had expected to perform well in the Nevada caucus but came in third behind Gingrich with 19 percent of the vote. This may be a sign that his caucus strategy may not pay off. Only time will tell.

Gingrich has been running into one wall after another since his one and only victory in South Carolina. He got pummeled in a winner-take-all primary in Florida and was devastated once more in Nevada. And Nevada was the first time that Romney could claim a conservative victory, as exit-poll data showed that 6 out of every 10 conservative voters favored him more than any other candidate.

And today, Gingrich dropped all legal efforts to get on to the Virginia ballot for the March 6 primary. Newt has failed to make both the Missouri ballot and the Virginia ballot, which shows an organization that does not appear to be prepared for running a nationwide operation — or an operation that can bring Romney down.

But the current trends show that the anti-Romney crowd is still divided. Santorum has not seen a surge in support and neither has Gingrich. Neither of them has convinced the anti-Romney electorate to back one of them. Instead, the anti-Romney voters remain divided on who the best anti-Romney candidate is as Mitt continues to rake in delegates. The only winner here is Mitt Romney.

Financial troubles are also going to brew for the anti-Romney crowd. Gingrich reportedly has $600,000 in debt with between $1 and $2 million in the bank. This will limit what his campaign can do severely as it has to figure out how to compete in various states at once. Without any momentum building, it will be a hard task to convince people that he can win and that they should put their money behind him.

Santorum will be in the same boat if he doesn’t get another win in the books in short order. He is poised for a potential win in Minnesota tonight. And we will see if conservatives can coalesce behind Santorum in Missouri without Newt Gingrich on the ballot there. If Santorum can’t get Newt’s folks to back him to stop Romney, it’s unlikely that he ever will.

One thing is for sure, time is running out for anyone to stop Romney from winning the GOP nomination. If conservatives don’t back one of the alternatives soon, then it will become apparent that they are content with Romney taking on Obama.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of You can follow him on Twitter at @AdamBitely.

This article has 19 comments
  • Dualfours77 07.02.2012 2:52 PM


  • Dualfours77 07.02.2012 2:52 PM

    romney is liberal yes i know what he says but his actions tell the truth on word ROMNEY CARE

  • Anonymous 07.02.2012 3:22 PM

    Fear not a Romney candidacy you conservatives (which I number myself among) check out Ann Coulter’s convincing column that he’s the most conservative of those that are left:

    To talk with Gingrich supporters is to enter a world where words have no meaning. They denounce Mitt Romney as a candidate being pushed on them by “the Establishment” — with “the Establishment” defined as anyone who supports Romney or doesn’t support Newt.Gingrich may have spent his entire life in Washington and be so much of an insider that, as Jon Stewart says, “when Washington gets its prostate checked, it tickles [Newt],” but he is deemed the rebellious outsider challenging “the Establishment” — because, again, “the Establishment” is anyone who opposes Newt.This is the sort of circular reasoning one normally associates with Democrats, people whom small-town pharmacists refer to as “drug seekers” and Ron Paul supporters.Newtons claim Romney is a “moderate,” and Gingrich the true conservative — a feat that can be accomplished only by refusing to believe anything Romney says … and also refusing to believe anything Gingrich says.– Romney’s one great “flip-flop” is on abortion. (I thought the reason we argued with people about abortion was to try to get them to “flip-flop” on this issue. Sometimes it works!)Nearly two decades ago, when Romney was trying to defeat champion desecrator of life Sen. Teddy Kennedy, he sought to remove abortion as a campaign issue by declaring that he, too, supported Roe v. Wade.(Nonetheless, Kennedy ran a campaign commercial against him featuring a Mormon woman complaining that Romney, as a Mormon elder, had pressured her not to have an abortion, but to give the child up for adoption. Are you getting the idea that Massachusetts is different from the rest of America, readers?)Romney changed his mind on abortion — not when it was politically advantageous, but when it mattered. As governor of liberal, pro-choice Massachusetts, he vetoed an embryonic stem cell bill and “worked closely” with Massachusetts Citizens for Life. The president of MCL recently issued a statement saying that, “since being elected governor, Mitt Romney has had a consistent commitment to the culture of life.”He didn’t defend his changed position by saying he was a “historian,” or denounce people who raised the switch as “fundamentally” dishonest asking “absurd” questions, or go back and forth and back and forth. He just said he changed his mind.Meanwhile, Gingrich, who has run for office only in a small, majority Republican, undoubtedly pro-life congressional district, lobbied President Bush to support embryonic stem cell research.– Romney is now the only remaining candidate for president who opposes amnesty for illegals. (Ever since President Bush’s amnesty plan cratered on the shoals of public opposition, no Republican will ever use the word “amnesty,” despite wanting to keep illegals here — just as Democrats refuse to say “abortion,” while supporting every manner of destroying human life.)Romney supports E-Verify and a fence on the border. As governor he promoted English immersion programs for immigrants, signed an agreement with the federal government allowing state troopers to enforce federal immigration laws, and opposed efforts to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition or driver’s licenses.At the same time, Romney says he’d like to staple a green card to the diploma of every immigrant here on a student visa who gets a higher degree in math or science.Gingrich supports importing a slave labor force from Mexico under a “guest worker” program and wants to create government “citizen review boards” to grant amnesty on a case-by-case basis (i.e. all at once) to illegal aliens.– Romney supports entitlement reform along the lines of the Paul Ryan plan, as he has said plainly, but without histrionics, in the debates.Just last year, Gingrich went on “Meet the Press” and called Ryan’s plan — supported by nearly every House Republican — “right-wing social engineering.”He apologized for those remarks, then took back his apology, still later doubled down, calling the Ryan plan “suicide,” and now — currently, but it could change any minute — Gingrich supports Ryan’s entitlement reform efforts.For the latest updates on Newt’s position on the Ryan plan, go to http//– As for crony capitalism, Romney made all his money in the private sector by his own diligence and talent — even giving away all the money he inherited from his parents. He’s never lived in Washington or traded on access to government officials.Meanwhile, without the federal government, Gingrich would be penniless. He has been in Washington since the ’70s, first as a congressman, then becoming a rich man on the basis of having been a congressman.Most egregiously, he took $1.6 million to shill for Freddie Mac, one of the two institutions directly responsible for the housing crash that caused the financial collapse. (Or one of three, if you consider Barney Frank an institution.)If the tea party stands for anything, it stands in absolute opposition to government insiders shoring up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at the very time those institutions were blowing up the economy.– Romney could not be more forceful in saying he will issue a 50-state waiver to Obamacare his first day in office and then seek its formal repeal. Whether you like a state-wide insurance mandate or not, it’s a world of difference when the federal government does it. Conservatives, having read the Constitution, ought to understand this.It was on account of the difference between state and federal powers that the Supreme Court overturned the federal Violence Against Women Act. The court was not endorsing rape, but reminding us that states make laws about rape, not Congress.To act as if Obamacare is the same thing as “Romneycare” is just a word game, on the order of acting like a “gun” has the same properties as a “gunny sack,” or “fire” is the same thing as a “firefly.”Romney supported the idea of other states doing something along the lines of his health care bill, but always opposed insurance mandates from the federal government (just as I oppose the federal government issuing general laws about rape, but support state laws against rape.)For those of you who still think Romneycare is the worst possible sin a Republican candidate could commit — even worse than taking money from Freddie Mac as it destroyed the economy — that doesn’t help Gingrich: He supported Romneycare.(While we’re on the subject, the nation’s leading conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, helped draft Romneycare. Indeed, Bob Moffit, Heritage’s senior fellow on health care issues, can be seen in the picture of the bill-signing ceremony, standing proudly behind Romney.)But Gingrich did more than support Romneycare. As former senator Rick Santorum has pointed out, Gingrich supported a FEDERAL individual mandate to purchase health insurance from 1993 until five minutes ago — i.e., at least until a “Meet the Press” appearance just last May.Asked by Maria Bartiromo in the CNBC debate last November to explain what he would do to fix health care, Newt attacked the question as “absurd” and said he would need a “several-hour period” to answer it.In a world where words have meaning, Mitt Romney is not the “moderate” in this race. He is the most conservative candidate still standing, with the possible exception of Rick Santorum, who is bad on illegal immigration. (Santorum voted in the Senate against even the voluntary use of E-Verify by employers, which means he doesn’t want to do anything about illegal immigration at all.)Romney is “moderate” only in demeanor — which is just another word game. His positions are more conservative than Gingrich’s, but he doesn’t scare people like Gingrich does. Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms were moderate in demeanor, too. No one would call them political moderates.Romney is the most electable candidate not only because it will be nearly impossible for the media to demonize this self-made Mormon square, devoted to his wife and church, but precisely because he is the most conservative candidate.Conservatism is an electable quality. Hotheaded arrogance is neither conservative nor attractive to voters

  • Dan 07.02.2012 5:19 PM

    Adam, there is no viable alternative to Romney at this point.  Gingrich is a bad candidate with way too much baggage, and while I like Santorum, he doesn’t have the broad support that will be needed to win in November. 

  • Dan 07.02.2012 5:19 PM

    Adam, there is no viable alternative to Romney at this point.  Gingrich is a bad candidate with way too much baggage, and while I like Santorum, he doesn’t have the broad support that will be needed to win in November. 

  • jmorg 07.02.2012 5:26 PM

    A lot to think about Geoffrey. You are well spoken and in possession of the facts. I am persuaded by your treatise. All in all, I believe I will trust and support Romney as a good and honest man. He represents what we all wish we were, a self made wealthy man who is not impressed with his wealth or his position. I am beginning to see him as a hero figure.

  • PatriotDiva 07.02.2012 5:56 PM

    This election is about more than just the GOP winning. It’s about a true conservative who’s loyal to constitution instead of the New World Order winning. That would be Ron Paul. I hope he stays in to the bitter end.

  • PatriotDiva 07.02.2012 5:56 PM

    This election is about more than just the GOP winning. It’s about a true conservative who’s loyal to constitution instead of the New World Order winning. That would be Ron Paul. I hope he stays in to the bitter end.

  • PatriotDiva 07.02.2012 5:57 PM

    Please keep your posts relatively short.

  • PatriotDiva 07.02.2012 5:57 PM

    Please keep your posts relatively short.

  • RC 07.02.2012 5:59 PM

    I think you mean Unite around Romney, correct.  You just lost my subscription as this type of language is what will ENSURE BO is re-elected.

  • Jwatersphd 07.02.2012 6:35 PM

    The problem is none of these candidates can quite figure out how to be mean enough in all ways. They are all falling all over themselves trying to show how little compassion they have for anyone except the wealthy, but you’ve got Santorum wanting to police your bedrooms to be sure you aren’t using birth control, while Paul wants, essentially, no government. Gingrich is whining about morality after having divorced his first wife while she was still in the hospital and having had an adulterous affair with his current wife. Yet, now, he’s the perfect Catholic, and we all know what that means – guilt, guilt, guilt, until you buy your indulgences from the priesthood. Just as he did, we can behave any way we like, and then all is supposed to be forgiven because we believe in God or Jesus. No, people do not learn, or think. Sure, Romney’s trying to play mean, but, quite reasonably, no one believes him. He really has no idea what the average person is going through and his positions are largely being sculpted to appeal to each of the petty right wing constituencies. The whole problem is that, to meet the demands of the radical right, one has either to pretend one is completely out of touch with reality, yet you believe what you are saying (Paul), or just to mouth the words convincingly while suggesting that you have some intelligence, which means you couldn’t really believe what you are saying (Romney). Probably Romney is going to win it – after all, as Bitely observed a few days ago, what’s really important is having enough money to buy the Presidency, and he’s go the most (yes, he not only said that but glorified it). The only real hope we have for the country is that if he wins the general election, he’ll feel as free to change his mind to confront, realistically, the problems the country faces, and go back on almost everything he’s saying now. Or, alternatively, we’ll have 4 more years of Obama, who at least says the right thing while kissing the ass of the radical right wing and the big corporations. He might have learned they aren’t going to like him no matter what – he’s half black and smart, after all, and they hate that – but he’s still willing to hop on the movement to deny habeas corpus.  

  • Vjhnsn 07.02.2012 7:00 PM

    Considering that there is no majority support for one candidate, here is what we do: Go to our caucus; follow the rules and vote; send in the final tallies; IF, (and this will be most of the time,) OUR candidate is NOT nominated, we will be sure to VOTE, November 2012, for who IS the candidate. Period. No whining; no staying home, so Obama can win. We WILL ALL be mature, calm and loyal to our Constitution, and VOTE the little Dictator-wannabe out of office, in a landslide for the Republican candidate! Make that a promise. You have mine!

  • Vjhnsn 07.02.2012 7:05 PM

    But don’t YOU hold out to the bitter end. Vote for the Republican candidate that gets nominated, unless you want United States to become like the U.S.S.R. was with no freedom and no food.

  • Dan 07.02.2012 7:13 PM

    Very well said!  I agree, we need to stop the whining when the votes are cast and support the people’s choice.  My candidate is no longer in this race, but I will support the nominee.

  • Anonymous 08.02.2012 10:43 AM

    In a message dated 2/7/2012 5:57:21 PM Eastern Standard Time,

    Fear not a Romney candidacy you conservatives (which I number myself among) check out Ann Coulter’s convincing column that he’s the most conservative of those that are left:

    My post was two lines of text, Ann’s column much longer, sorry. I wanted to make it easy to
    get to the column and using a hyperlink might have been too much trouble for some. It needs
    reading in the “he’s not conservative” debate.

  • PatriotDiva 08.02.2012 10:43 AM

    I will always cast a vote even if the guy I truly want doesn’t get in. That being said, Americans really need to wake up to the New World Order elites and do some research. People in high place are saying some scary things. These people have no allegiance to any political party even though they may have a D or an R next to their name. Their allegiance is to their select group who will hold all of the power and wealth.  I am asking everyone I know to read at least one these books: “Unseen Hand” by Ralph Epperson, “Brotherhood of Darkness” by Dr. Stanley Monteith, and “The Hope of the Wicked” by Ted Flynn. At present most of the wealth and power in America is held by just a few people. You know the old saying “Absoute power corrupts absolutely.” These books point to some rather disturbing trends. America is under assault from every which way. The recent passage of the NDAA was a major attack on our freedom. We cannot just lie down and take it.

  • Highsider 08.02.2012 7:33 PM

    Grinch is no conservative.  He is rather, a proponent of large, larger and one world government posing as a conservative.Obamney is simply another liberal posing as a conservative. 

    The Libertarian can be ignored in this. Neither of these above named men can see around the huge egorection they carry with them everywhere, to be able to lead the country in a conservative path even if they were conservative.  I would refer to both as RINOs, except that the term has no meaning now, with the MSGOP leadership pretending that they back neither one, all the while presenting them as the only choice we have. Santorum is the only true conservative left in the race, and the MSGOP leadership fears him.  The Republican Party is now the Democratic party of just a few years ago.   How quickly the bitt can be slipped into the mouth of the electorate. Yes, we find ourselves in the position of having to possibly hold our nose and simply vote “not Obama”, but never forget who put us in this position.   It was the mainstream GOP leadership, that we failed to root out last cycle.    If the countries 2012 choice doesn’t forbid us another chance at ever taking our country back, we need to finish the job ASAP. 

  • Greg137 09.02.2012 2:04 AM

    Given the fact that ol’ Ron Paul is to the left of Obama when it comes to national security… Yeah I would say that the libertarian can be ignored, Maybe Santorum CAN pull through, but even if he doesn’t I will still vote for anyone who is 1. republican  2. NOT Obama…  TRUMP IS A LIBERAL and a MEDIA WHORE, so he is definitely out!

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