Mississippi is normally one of those states Presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle tend to overlook, if for no other reason than that the major party nominees are pretty much a lock by the time Magnolia State voters cast their ballots.
That is not the case in this year’s Republican Presidential Primary. Mississippi matters.
Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are all still seeking front runner status. Just when one of them seems to have the edge, another swoops in and steals the thunder.
Some say SuperPACs are the reason for the numerous momentum changes. I disagree.
Conservative, Republican voters are simply not overwhelmingly enamored with any of the final four, meaning as the vetting process continues down the stretch, voter sympathy is shifting as they attempt to find that right candidate. Voters are trying to balance their values with defeating Obama.
The problem with that is these four are attacking each other so ferociously that President Obama can simply sit back and watch the circus. The longer the Republican Primary season drags on without a clear front runner, the easier it will be for Obama to control the narrative; Republicans are fueling Obama’s general election fire.
Here in Mississippi,
The average conservative does seem to have a question about Romney’s allegiance to the conservative cause. It is not all media hype. People do not seem content to concede that Romney is the best Republicans can do.
There are two schools of thought in this vein. One, often expressed by former Gov. Haley Barbour, is that purity is a loser. The other says that compromising our principles has gotten us in this mess; continuing to do so is not an option.
For Mississippi conservative voters, the decision on March 13th comes down to this: Santorum vs. Romney, Gingrich vs. Romney, or Paul vs. Romney. Once we get past that, voters will have to reconcile who can best challenge Obama’s liberal policies and outline a vision for America that supports our core conservative principles, those of limited government, a strong national defense, traditional family values, and fiscal sanity.
Santorum looks to be the candidate that best aligns with a majority of Mississippi’s conservative voters, but the jury’s still out. Gingrich seems to be the smartest candidate but he just can’t convert his big ideas into votes. As for Paul, well, he’s Ron Paul.
Mississippi may very well turn out for Mitt Romney, but if they do I seriously doubt it will be because they believe him to be the candidate best aligned with their conservatives values. If Mississippi goes for Romney, it’s because people are fed up with Obama and see Mitt as the best shot to make the Democrat a one termer.
Either way, Mississippi matters March 13th.