[W]hat, if anything, could convince Romney to drop out? If he underperforms on Super Tuesday, would that do it? What about the primaries after that? I find myself wondering more and more why he’s so determined to win when he receives so much negative feedback at every turn. He has few passionate supporters and many passionate detractors; he has no big cause or grand issue that animates him; his victories are owed chiefly to carpet-bombing his rivals with negative ads rather than stirring up enthusiasm for his candidacy. It’s almost a test of wills with the base, or some sort of exceptionally complex organizational problem he’s determined to solve. Is Mitt so skillful a manager that he can propel a candidacy built on virtually nothing to the Republican nomination despite resolute opposition from activists?
There’s no reason for Romney to drop out. He’s got the most delegates, and barring some Super Tuesday shocker, will continue to pile up the most delegates. Why should he drop out? Still, the overall point here is sound. The only real passion in this GOP race seems to come from people who can’t stand Romney. He doesn’t seem to really believe in anything, except “America,” and in his own capacity to be president. What’s the point of his candidacy?
The enthusiasm level of the Republican base this fall is going to make Bob Dole’s ’96 campaign look like the Beatles’ 1964 American tour.
UPDATE: CNN gives it to Romney. No surprise there, given that I’ve been listening to Santorum babble for about 10 minutes about his family, and then flyover country, without mentioning tonight’s race. So, good for Romney, I guess.