Activists rate Romney’s appeal to Georgia conservatives

After all the hand-wringing and rancor, the Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Republican primary came to an abrupt, if unofficial, conclusion this week. On paper, 20 state contests and two challengers remain. But Rick Santorum’s suspension Tuesday of his second-place campaign removed the last, best challenge to Mitt Romney. Barring tragedy or scandal, the former Massachusetts governor will be the GOP standard-bearer against Barack Obama come November.

Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul pledge to soldier on toward Tampa and this summer’s GOP convention, but Romney has earned the right to begin running against Obama instead of his fellow Republicans. His biggest bit of unfinished primary business is whether the 60 percent of GOP voters who chose a candidate other than Romney will transfer their loyalty to him without some wooing. If the general election becomes a matter of which party can fire up its base more, can Romney inspire the kind of conservative turnout needed to win?

Georgia, where Romney finished a solid but distant second to favorite son Gingrich, is a good testing ground for those questions.

Four years ago, John McCain won our state narrowly by recent standards, with just a 5-percentage-point margin over Obama. But the closer margin owed to larger turnout among black voters supporting Obama; the electorate was almost as conservative and a tad more evangelical as it was four years earlier when George W. Bush was re-elected.

But this year, and Romney? “I definitely think he’s got some challenges to overcome,” says Kay Godwin, a co-founder of Georgia Conservatives in Action and a key GOP activist in South Georgia.

“People honestly do not see him as conservative. We see it a lot with what he says, but we’ve not seen it lived out in action, and we’re getting a little bit wiser. But at this point, our goal is Obama has to go. It’s my number-one goal, period. … At this particular moment in time, I think people are trying their best to settle into this [with Romney as the apparent nominee]. And I just hope and pray they can. But there’s so much skepticism out there, time will tell.”

Julianne Thompson, state coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, says she does see Georgia’s grassroots activists coming to accept Romney.

“I think most people see the bigger picture here. It’s what I hear from a lot of tea-party people, I can tell you that … they’re looking toward November and want to concentrate on Barack Obama and really are ready to be done with the primary.”

Thompson says Romney’s choice of running mate will be critical to solidifying conservative support here.

“There are a lot of great names out there that have been put out,” she says, mentioning Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida specifically. “I personally like [former Arkansas Gov.] Mike Huckabee a lot, though I’m not sure he’s interested in doing anything like that. But I really do like him and he would be a good contrast, and we would be hitting all across the Republican spectrum if we had a vice-presidential candidate like that.”

Godwin also mentions those three names, along with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (who just might be my own choice to join a Romney ticket).

“If he puts somebody on there that the conservatives trust, that would make a big difference,” Godwin says. “It can’t be [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie … it’s got to be somebody from the heartland, the conservative movement, so that we’ll get behind him with everything we’ve got.”

Chris Perkins, the state director for Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, strikes a more optimistic note. Romney, he predicts, “will do better than McCain did four years ago.”

Why? “Mostly because I think there are people who voted for Obama four years ago who are going to change their mind. Hard-core Democrats will vote for Obama, hard-core Republicans will vote for Romney — but there are people in the middle who are going to want change, or they’re not happy with the way things have gone under Obama.”

The GOP primary dragged on longer than some people would have liked, but it still wrapped up with almost five months to go before Tampa. That ought to leave Romney time to wrap up some loose ends with conservative voters — and ensure the election is a referendum on Obama, not his own reliability.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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258 comments Add your comment

Intown

April 12th, 2012
10:04 am

Obama is going to win. The Repubs will not enthusiastically support Romney. and Romney is not going to be able to get people to forget all the crazy stuff said during the primary campaign. There’s enough video footage from the primary for a thousand attack ads. They’ve alienated too many women and too many Latinos. Repubs may have better luck in 2016.

BuckeyeInGa

April 12th, 2012
10:11 am

Tiberius..not really..It was an observation.

Lyman Hall

April 12th, 2012
10:12 am

“Together we pitched the (federal cabinet) secretaries on our vision to insure all of our citizens, and on the need for federal support to make the vision real. His work in Washington and behind the scenes on Beacon Hill was absolutely essential.”
Just before signing Romneycare in April 2006, Mitt Romney commenting on his “collaborator and FRIEND” Ted Kennedy
.
Don’t do it for the Gipper….Don’t do it for Johnny maaaan.
.
Do it for TED KENNEDY….dudes.
He will be smiling….where ever he is.
.
“barf”
.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
10:14 am

“Female employees in the Obama White House make considerably less than their male colleagues, records show.

According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).”

Oops!

td

April 12th, 2012
10:15 am

BuckeyeInGa

April 12th, 2012
9:59 am

Yes, let us compare Mormonism to Liberation theology. I think the vast majority of the people of this country would take the former to the latter any day.

timbo

April 12th, 2012
10:17 am

The looney left received their marching orders from the DNC, and it was to perpetrate this ‘war on women’. They will continue to rant and rave until November, so prepare yourselves for it. Up until then, we will be entertained by people like Hillary Rosen, who for some reason has a bug up her a$$ to attack Ann Romney because ’she has never worked a day in her life’. Oh…..and Moooochelle has worked? We will also be entertained by the hacks who work for the main stream media and their ongoing attack on any woman who is conservative. The ‘war’ is fake, and created and fought by the idiots on the left.

Until a Republican treats any woman like William Jefferson Clinton did, your argument rings hollow.

timbo

April 12th, 2012
10:19 am

Something happened on the way to the recovery;

http://www.cnbc.com/id/47027476

gm

April 12th, 2012
10:20 am

td

Rep have been in charge for the last 12 years, and you blame the Dem, this shows why this state is call loserville around the world, brain washed right wingers who continue to vote against the 21st century hoping the 1950″s come back.
Georgia is the reason the civil war had to take place, or the rest of the country would have this sit back and drink my beer and watch the rich rep leaders continue to expolit you idiots, Obama will win dispite you back ward conservatives in this state.

BuckeyeInGa

April 12th, 2012
10:22 am

@td no reason to compare those two. No one still really has asked about Romney’s religous beliefs.

gm

April 12th, 2012
10:24 am

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

Was it not Obama who pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 end of story”””’

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
10:24 am

“Georgia is the reason the civil war had to take place”

Actually, Federalism and slavery were the reasons why the civil war had to take place, but don’t let history get in the way of a good cry, gm. :roll:

td

April 12th, 2012
10:25 am

gm

April 12th, 2012
10:20 am

td

Rep have been in charge for the last 12 years, and you blame the Dem, this shows why this state is call loserville around the world,

Show us some evidence of Georgia being called “loserville” around the world? I have never read any. The only people I see that are making such comments are leftest on these blogs. Where is the evidence?

As far as Obama winning in Nov, I still think it is way to early to call. We know he will not win Georgia and that your vote will not be counted.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
10:26 am

“Was it not Obama who pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 end of story”

Why, yes, gm, it was. So why is he practicing wage discrimination against his own employees at the White House?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
10:28 am

“No one still really has asked about Romney’s religous beliefs.”

I suggest you watch Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC and read many of the left’s comments on this past week’s threads here before typing the above statement again, BuckeyeInGa.

DannyX

April 12th, 2012
10:30 am

***ATTENTION***

A Purple Alert has just been issued.

Mitt Romney is missing from the top spot in all Real Clear Politics swing state poll averages. If you find Romney in the lead in any swing state poll please post it here, there are many heartbroken diehard posters here that need a hug. Romney has a “severely conservative” condition that desperately needs attention.

td

April 12th, 2012
10:30 am

gm

April 12th, 2012
10:24 am

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

Was it not Obama who pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 end of story”””’

Sorry Tiberius but I want to address this issue. Why should their be a law that makes the majority of this country a special group with special protections?

The below is from Laura Ingraham on the subject of this “war on women” the other night:

“In her new book, “The Richer Sex”, Liza Monday cites new research that shows in U.S. cities single women in their 20’s without children on average make more than men. And check this out… almost 40 percent of working wives out-earn their husbands. The next generation of women in America will make more than their male counterparts across all levels of employment.

In 49 of the last 50 months, unemployment was lower for women than men; this according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And women receive roughly three-fifth of both bachelors and masters degrees from American colleges and universities.

And get this… it gets better… the National Journal Heartland Monitor Group is reporting that three-fourths of women say they believe they can now advance as far as their talents will take them regardless of their gender. And nearly as many report that they have not experienced discrimination at all in the workplace.”

gm

April 12th, 2012
10:35 am

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

So Obama needs to give every women a increase in wages who work for the federal gov? not just his staff, I just dont remember any one complaining about Bush staff in pay, do you? wow, the double standards continue

TD

My vote counted look who is the President, he will win again, no one in their right mind wants to go back to the Bush policies that caused this mess””

Real Athens

April 12th, 2012
10:41 am

The GOP voters (and newspaper columnists) who overwhelmingly supported the most professionally and morally corrupt candidate in the primaries (Gingrich) will support Romney.

I agree with Thompson, if the Tea Party is anything but “GOP Lite” they’ll flock to the man who arguably invented the movement – Ron Paul. After all, it was the Heritage Foundation that came up with the health insurance individual mandate that Romney instituted as Governor.

I have trouble believing the hardcore evangelicals will vote for a Mormon – compelling evidence of what is wrong with the whole theocratic movement. How can anyone with any integrity even mouth the name “Ralph Reed” and be taken seriously.

Why doesn’t Kay Godwin and Georgia Conservatives in Action work just as tirelessly to help lift the areas of S. Georgia (especially around Baxley) that are practically third world nations out of poverty?

The center — in the rest of the country — will move toward Obama after viewing the attack ads (that are outright lies) already produced by Rove and the other Super Pacs. Citizens United will prove to be the downfall of the group it was designed to help. Scalia, Roberts and Alito be damned. That is how karma works.

timbo

April 12th, 2012
10:43 am

DannyX;

Recent polls in these 11 states show Obama ahead of Romney in every state but Iowa. But they also show him topping 50 percent only in Wisconsin.

Obama seems to be running slightly better than last time in Ohio, Florida and North Carolina, and slightly weaker in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Iowa, and about the same in Virginia, Colorado and Nevada, with no recent polling in New Hampshire.

Obama has not sewn up any of these 11 states, which have 144 electoral votes. Without them, and without the 11 in Indiana and one in Nebraska he carried last time, he would have only 205 electoral votes, 65 short of the needed majority.

And 2008 is not the only possible benchmark. In the 2010 congressional elections, Republicans carried the popular vote for the House in all 11 of these states. They went into the election with only 56 of these states’ 126 House seats and came out with 82.

Voters’ issue focus this year looks more like that of 2010 than 2008. Even polls showing Obama ahead also show most voters rate him negatively on the top issues, jobs and the economy. Neither the stimulus package nor Obamacare evokes positive feelings.

The president has been reduced to trash-talking the Supreme Court, leaving his press secretary to tidy up afterward. He has been spending a week playing up the Buffett rule, a tax proposal raising capital gains rates on very high earners that would net little revenue.

That polls well in a vacuum. But more extended surveys, like one recently conducted for the moderate Third Way group, show most voters prefer limiting government and putting economic growth ahead of “an economy based on fairness.”

That’s closer to Mitt Romney’s view than Barack Obama’s. Obama and his party have bet everything on the notion that economic distress would make Americans favor a bigger government. That turned out to be a losing bet.

Romney and his party are betting that voters are ready for market-oriented reforms. Despite his political tin ear, Romney has been making progress in honing this message.

Meanwhile Obama is flailing. That’s not the behavior of an incumbent president confident of winning re-election.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2012/04/12/romney_trails_obama_but_key_numbers_break_his_way_113816.html

Remember the mid-term elections of 2010? Don’t count them chickens just yet.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
10:47 am

“I just dont remember any one complaining about Bush staff in pay, do you?”

gm, this is known as a deflection, constantly used when someone has lost the ability (if they ever had it) to argue the actual issue in the first place.

The point you are missing (as usual) is the double standard of running a campaign on the issue after passing a law and touting that passage, and not conforming to it in his own workplace.

The difference lost on you is that Bush did no such thing.

Real Athens

April 12th, 2012
10:49 am

td@10:24:

IF …

“In 49 of the last 50 months, unemployment was lower for women than men; this according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And women receive roughly three-fifth of both bachelors and masters degrees from American colleges and universities.”

THEN WHY:

Romney is saying on the campaign trail? “Women account for 92.3 percent of jobs lost under Obama.”

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/apr/10/mitt-romney/romney-campaign-says-women-were-hit-hard-job-losse/

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
10:54 am

Real Athens @ 10:49, you need to brush up on your statistical analysis skills, and understand that “jobs lost” does not equal to “unemployment rate”

timbo

April 12th, 2012
11:00 am

Don’t think Jay Trashman will do a blog on this, do you?

On all of the most salient issues facing the electorate, we either see a statistical dead heat or a Romney advantage. And this is with Romney being bogged down for four months in a very nasty primary battle.

What to make of that topline between Obama and Mitt Romney, showing Obama up by seven points over the presumptive GOP nominee? Well, for starters a big part of Obama’s lead has to be chalked up to the hugely Democratic tilt of this poll. Pollsters with a more reasonable spread – in particular Gallup and Rasmussen – show a much tighter contest.

But the general election campaign has not actually begun. In fact, the playing field has been systematically stacked in favor of President Obama, who has been relentlessly campaigning while Romney has been mired in a messy primary battle. That is now set to change with Romney clearing out the GOP field.

Additionally, only about 10 to 15 percent of all voters are actually up for grabs in November, and they are hardly paying close attention just yet. Given that, I am much less interested in the head-to-head horse race number between Obama and Romney than I am in the details discussed above. To borrow a metaphor from economics, items like who voters trust more on creating jobs, whether they think the recession is over, or whether Obama is doing a good job dealing with the gas price surge are all “leading indicators” of where the race is going to head as we move forward through the cycle.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-obama-thin-ice_636873.html?page=2

Remember, it’s the economy, stupid.

St Simons- island off the coast of New Somalia

April 12th, 2012
11:00 am

“ahh Dream On, Dream On,
Dream until yo dreams come truuue”

-Thomas ‘Aerosmith’ Jefferson

Republican – Its what’s for Dinner
Republican – the Other white meat

Republicans Tried On Every Pair of Pants In The Store and They End Up With MittWitt

April 12th, 2012
11:11 am

@Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
9:55 am
Love the deep, intellectual discourse by the Trashman: “MittWitt”. “Fat Boy”.

You belong over at Bookman’s with that kind of juvenile banter.

***************************************

Pot calling kettle black.

“Your lightning rod of hate! “?????????????

Hate? What’s that all about.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
11:15 am

Trashman, what does a lightning rod do, son?

It attracts electricity.

I attract hate (from both sides, btw) with my truthful answers, pointed commentary and insightful analysis.

Thus, the moniker you simply failed to understand.

Furious Styles

April 12th, 2012
11:15 am

As long as Romney’s camp doesn’t bounce a $500 check, he should be fine.

Just saying..

April 12th, 2012
11:15 am

Maybe the big issue here is that Kyle poses what he and others believe is a legitimate question: To what extent will Georgia conservatives support the Republican nominee?
When has that last been in question?

Georgia, The " New Mississippi "

April 12th, 2012
11:17 am

Romney should have NO CONCERNS what-so-ever about winning Ga.

timbo

April 12th, 2012
11:18 am

Looks like Jay Trashman is stoking the fires again over on his hate blog. He has become quite the dog washer for the dems and libs. You think he read this yet?

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-obama-thin-ice_636873.html?page=2

Probably not since it doesn’t fit his or his minions agenda.

Just saying..

April 12th, 2012
11:21 am

Tib:
Actually, you attract disdain for your know-it-all positions, and personal invective toward anyone who disagrees with you.

yuzeyurbrane

April 12th, 2012
11:24 am

Romney should win Georgia with its residual racism and Republican voter suppression efforts. Racism is the same as 2008 but voter suppression efforts have passed with statutory changes. Obama should do about as good as Barnes did for Governor. Also, Romney is the old empty vessel theory–he can be whatever you want him to be and find quotes to back you up. Inoffensive to suburban voters although bland and he should pull them along.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
11:26 am

“Actually, you attract disdain for your know-it-all positions, and personal invective toward anyone who disagrees with you.”

Disdain and hate are not separated by much, Just sayin’.

Unlike the wide gulf between your opinion and reality. ;)

And people who think they know it all really tick off those of us who actually do.

timbo

April 12th, 2012
11:27 am

I think Trashman only has about 4 people over in his tickle pile that just change their names.

timbo

April 12th, 2012
11:29 am

yuzeyurbrane
April 12th, 2012
11:24 am

I am sure you have evidence of voter suppression. Another excuse pulled from the dem playbook. Take your accusations over to the Trashman’s blog where you will be accepted with open arms.

[...] Hill (blog)Romney blames Obama for women losing jobsmsnbc.comNew York Times (blog) -TPM -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 54 news articles » This entry was posted in Politics and tagged Elections. [...]

timbo

April 12th, 2012
11:35 am

Libs are jealous of the rich because they have absolutely no job skills that would pay them more than minimum wage.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
11:39 am

“Libs are jealous of the rich because they have absolutely no job skills that would pay them more than minimum wage.”

Hyperbole much, timbo?

Just saying..

April 12th, 2012
11:41 am

Tib:
Here’s reality: Responsible people throughly engaged in the success of the Republican Party in Georgia have differing opinions about how well Mitt Romney will appeal to Ga Republicans and conservatives.
You indicate you know the answer.
But you won’t bet your house on that answer.
That’s another reality.

td

April 12th, 2012
11:41 am

Let us see if yuzeyurbrane thinks the below is an example of “voter suppression”:

If you are a Democrat in Georgia and are only going to the polls to vote for Obama then you are wasting your time, money and energy because your vote will not be counted. All 16 votes from Georgia will go Romney and Obama will receive 0 votes from Georgia.

td

April 12th, 2012
11:43 am

Just saying..

April 12th, 2012
11:41 am

Tib:
Here’s reality: Responsible people throughly engaged in the success of the Republican Party in Georgia have differing opinions about how well Mitt Romney will appeal to Ga Republicans and conservatives.
You indicate you know the answer.
But you won’t bet your house on that answer.
That’s another reality.

I will take a title for title bet with you that Romney will win Georgia.

gm

April 12th, 2012
11:43 am

timbo

Libs are jealous of the rich because they have absolutely
:

There are plenty lib who are making money the difference between lib and right nut wingers the lib are not going to get expolited most rich people like Mitt would not even let common georgia voters stand on his porch, you people are the most idiots of any generation of rep voters.

yuzeyurbrane

April 12th, 2012
11:53 am

td, I am not saying that voter suppression efforts are likely to change the result in Georgia; however, I do think they will lower Obama’s percent from 2008. Romney also has other factors working in his favor as I discussed, objectively, in my prior post re this article. I would add that in the long run the voter suppression efforts will come back to bite Republicans in the rear as the demographics of the nation, including Georgia, are currently undergoing profound changes which will benefit the Democrats.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
11:53 am

Just saying, barring either scandal or physical incapacity, Mitt Romney will win Georgia whether he appeals to Ga. conservatives or not.

The margin will be larger than 5 percentage points.

It really doesn’t matter what the ultra-right think about him in Georgia, Just saying. There are more than enough people in the middle and on the center-right side to make that happen.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
11:58 am

gm @ 11:43: “you people are the most idiots of any generation of rep voters.”

Must I really break down the below run-on sentence with incorrect punctuation, word usage and spelling to point out the irony of the above statement by gm? :roll:

“There are plenty lib who are making money the difference between lib and right nut wingers the lib are not going to get expolited most rich people like Mitt would not even let common georgia voters stand on his porch, you people are the most idiots of any generation of rep voters.”

td

April 12th, 2012
12:00 pm

yuzeyurbrane

April 12th, 2012
11:53 am

What voter suppression efforts are you talking about (especially in Georgia)? Photo Id to vote? These were in place in 2008 and Obama received more African American votes then any candidate in the history of this state.

Just saying..

April 12th, 2012
12:01 pm

td
April 12th, 2012
11:43 am:

Just saying..

April 12th, 2012
11:41 am

Tib:
Here’s reality: Responsible people throughly engaged in the success of the Republican Party in Georgia have differing opinions about how well Mitt Romney will appeal to Ga Republicans and conservatives.
You indicate you know the answer.
But you won’t bet your house on that answer.
That’s another reality.

I will take a title for title bet with you that Romney will win Georgia.

td- Thanks for helping make my point: I don’t know the answer, I can only have an opinion. Which is the same as yours: I think Romney will win Georgia.
Which is Not the question. The question is, to what extent will Georgia conservatives support Mitt Romney?
The first indications to that answer, beyond what Kyle has already provided us, is how much effort either Party puts into the state. If neither side puts serious money here, they probably think the same as us. If either side begins to really fight for the vote here, they probably think the outcome is in doubt.
Which would be a surprise. As is the question implied by Kyle’s column.

gm

April 12th, 2012
12:04 pm

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!

Thats a good way to avoid the truth, I would do the same thing if I had no answer”””’

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 12th, 2012
12:09 pm

gm, it’s kinda hard to find any “truth” in a statement that cannot be understood, except by you.

Just saying..

April 12th, 2012
12:14 pm

Tiberius – Your lightning rod of hate!
April 12th, 2012
11:53 am

Just saying, barring either scandal or physical incapacity, Mitt Romney will win Georgia whether he appeals to Ga. conservatives or not.

The margin will be larger than 5 percentage points.

It really doesn’t matter what the ultra-right think about him in Georgia, Just saying. There are more than enough people in the middle and on the center-right side to make that happen.

Tib: You’re probably right.
But just the thought that the Republican nominee may not have the full support of the presumed Republican base is news. Add in Newt’s win, more evangelical voters, diminished turnout in GOP-only primaries designed to increase turnout…
Will be real news if either side begins a serious effort for what was believed to be a safe red state.