Surely you’ve heard the doom-and-gloom predictions about the general election. Some would have you believe that no one with an “R” next to his name will stand a chance. Others think we can only win with a more liberal Republican — arguing for the nomination of someone like the pro-choice Mayor Giuliani or the tax-hiking, government-growing Governor Huckabee. And some just flat-out say they think Governor Romney would be a uniquely weak candidate in November, often because of his religion.
Especially on this last point, the poll numbers haven’t been good — because they’ve put national celebrities like Senator McCain or Senator Clinton up against a little-known former governor of Massachusetts. But as Rich Lowry points out, now that people around the country are getting to know Governor Romney, his general-election poll numbers are ticking up, and look much like Senator McCain’s.
And on the first point, it’s important not to idealize the position in which the Democrats find themselves. Here’s Stuart Rothenberg:
As this cycle began, Democrats looked united and prepared to take advantage of deep divisions in the Republicans’ ranks. But the increasingly bitter and personal attacks exchanged by Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) suddenly raise the possibility that the eventual Democratic nominee will have to heal wounds that are as deep as those in the GOP.
Could Democrats, who are unified in their dissatisfaction with George W. Bush and have been pleased with their presidential field, really become so divided that they give a surprising opening to the eventual Republican nominee? Yes.
The whole thing is worth reading — and if you’re conservative infected with doom-and-gloom disease, take heart!