For one of my first posts, I’d like to take a look at the battle brewing between former Massachusetts Republican Governor Mitt Romney, and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. The two are arguably the GOP’s leading candidates for President, and things are beginning to heat up between the two. If Palin runs, the battle between these two candidates could determine the nomination.
First, let’s talk about Mitt Romney. Today, a new Quinnipiac Poll shows that Mitt Romney has a comfortable lead in the GOP Primary. Mitt Romney is viewed by many as the candidate who can beat Obama. He has a national profile, is regarded very highly on what figures to be the top issue of the election- the economy. His path to the nomination has gotten clearer with Mike Huckabee, Haley Barbour, and Mitch Daniels all opting not to run. He has an advantage in that the second, and arguably the most important primary is held in New Hampshire, where the citizens are very familiar with Romney as Governor of neighboring Massachusetts. Mitt Romney is a candidate who also has a great ability to raise money, and many view him as the only candidate who can financially compete with Barack Obama and the billion dollars he will spend on his reelection.
Now let’s talk about Sarah Palin, the former Vice Presidential nominee. In 2008, Palin unquestionably brought a lot of excitement to the GOP ticket. When John McCain picked Sarah Palin to be his Vice Presidential candidate, conservatives who were unhappy with McCain finally had something to be excited about. Much of this excitement remains among conservatives for Palin. It is unclear if Palin is going to run, but there is no question that if she does run she will be a force to reckon with in the Republican primary, as Rush Limbaugh said today. In addition to the excitement and press she has created this past week with her bus tour around the country, a new Reuters poll shows Palin actually leading the Republican pack at 22%. This has given her campaign something to tout and use to go on the offensive against Mitt Romney.
Supporters of Palin have begun rallying that she is the only candidate who can beat Mitt Romney in a Republican primary. Analyzing these two candidates, gives Republicans a lot to ponder. Can we trust Mitt Romney? Can Sarah Palin attract enough independents to win the general election? Is this another battle such as Rockefeller or Ford vs. Goldwater or Reagan within the Republican party? Or perhaps, are Republicans who support Mitt Romney being practical and expecting that he is the only candidate who can beat Obama? Also, can the Republican Party as a whole emerge from a tumultuous primary between two its titans and beat President Obama?
These are very important questions to consider, and will all play out in the coming weeks and months as we wait on the announcement from Sarah Palin as to whether she will run for President. In the meantime expect punches to continue to fly between the camps of Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney, the two highest profile superstars within the Republican Party.