Since the beginning of the Republican primary process, the defining feature of the contest has been Mitt Romney, pollster Scott Rasmussen tells National Review Online. Other candidates have risen and fallen, but the former Massachusetts governor has stayed steady around 25 percent in the polls. As Rasmussen recounts the trajectory of the race, it becomes clear how furious the search for the anti-Mitt has been: “Early on, people were talking about Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee; then they turned to Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie.” Then, of course, Republicans settled for the candidates who were actually running.
The latest alternative, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, offers the same strength and the same weakness as those who came before him, Rasmussen argues. His strength? The broad swath of Republicans who yearn for a candidate other than Romney. His weakness? His untested ability to perform in the spotlight. For Santorum to succeed, he’ll need to satisfy two conditions: First, he’ll have to convince voters he can beat President Obama. Second, he’ll have to convince them he can bring change to the White House. The reason Romney has failed to close the deal so far, Rasmussen contends, is that, though Republicans believe he satisfies the first condition, “some aren’t so sure about the second part.” “People want to shake up the political class in Washington,” Rasmussen says. “Some think Mitt is just part of it and wants to run it better.”
Keep reading this post . . .