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E.J. Dionne explains how Mitt Romney’s campaign is one part John McCain, one part Michael Dukakis, and one part Richard Nixon, in his new column: “Romney: Winning Votes, Not Love.”

Mitt Romney is grinding his way to the Republican presidential nomination not by winning hearts but by imposing his will on a party that keeps resisting him. He is assembling the peripheral elements of the GOP as his rivals divide the votes of the passionate believers. His campaign is part John McCain, part Michael Dukakis, and part Richard Nixon.

In its way, Romney’s achievement is impressive. He is neither a natural politician nor a comfortable spokesman for an increasingly ideological, evangelical, Southern and enraged political coalition. Romney is a man of flexible views from the Northeast, a Mormon who wins votes from the least religious sectors of his party, a rather satisfied man who has to announce he’s angry because he doesn’t look it.

Yet whenever it has mattered, Romney has pulled out victories. They are never won in a pretty way and require millions of dollars in advertising to discredit his opponents. They have also forced Romney to adjust or reverse many of his positions, and to go far to the right on particular issues — immigration for one — to outflank his adversaries. He needs to win now. He’ll count the costs later.

Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour

Three states that narrowly swung from Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016 seem likely to swing back in 2020. Polling currently gives a consistent and solid lead to Democrat Joe Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Should Biden carry all three of these swing states and keep all of the states Hillary Clinton won in 2016, he will win an Electoral College majority and the presidency.

According to RealClear Politics' polling average, Biden currently enjoys a 4-point lead in Pennsylvania, a 6.4-point lead in Michigan, and a 6.7-point lead in Wisconsin.

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