George F. Will said on ABC this morning that Mitt’s problem is not his Mormonism or his finances, but his “Romneyness” — that is, the plain fact that he can’t personally connect with voters. Matthew Dowd added that Romney “cannot sell himself as an authentic, competent conservative in this field.”

That’s really it, isn’t it? People just flat-out don’t like Romney. I share that distaste, but it’s still hard for me to grasp that GOP primary voters dislike Romney so much that they would prefer to vote for a candidate, Gingrich, who would almost certainly lose against Obama. Daniel Larison:

Romney can be a dishonest demagogue, but Gingrich is the one who thinks (or pretends to think) the “Kenyan anti-colonialist” theory about Obama makes sense. Many Republicans are unenthusiastic about Romney, but far more people nationwide can’t stand Gingrich. Romney has a record of trying to have things both ways on many issues, but as far as I know he has never been on both sides of a major issue within the same month. Gingrich has that unfortunate distinction. Gingrich isn’t going to be the nominee. The Republican primary electorate can’t be that stupid.

I dunno. SC exit polling showed that Gingrich won far and away among primary voters concerned about electability. This explodes the main rationale for Romney’s candidacy. Do these voters really live so deeply inside a bubble that they can’t see how repulsive Gingrich is to mainstream voters? Is it a South Carolina thing, or is this something general among GOP primary voters? Florida will tell.

And there’s this: Will said this morning that one hope Romney has is that this morning, GOP officials and local candidates are waking up this morning to the South Carolina results, and having to face stone cold reality: ”They’re saying, ‘Good God, Newt Gingrich could be on the top of this ticket.’ That can’t make them happy.”