Romney & the South

I had an email exchange this morning about Mitt Romney being a mormon and how that might affect the way people vote for him in the South. A lot of people think there will be no impact, but I’m not so sure. The email correspondent and I agreed that this would be a good issue to poll PP readers about.


  1. Bill Simon says:

    First time I read your piece, I thought you said Romney was a “moron.”

    Erick, a person’s religious background, no matter whether you like the religion or not, should be CAPITALIZED. Thus, Romney is a Mormon. 🙂

  2. Chris says:

    I’ll say the insensitive and incorrect thought everyone is thinking….

    So we’ll have a first lady, a second lady, a third lady. Won’t the East Wing get a bit crowded?

  3. Chris says:

    Oh, and I really don’t care what someone’s religion is, so long as they don’t expect me to live by it.

  4. columbus06 says:

    Keep a close watch on this one. Romney is currently the dark horse but is quietly making huge gains in the primary battleground states. Iowa’s version of Bill Shipp recently said of all the candidates he’s doing the best job of all making groundwork. His PAC has been very influential all over the nation (including supporting sonny), and he has tremendous support in SC and Michigan, where his father was a three term Governor.

    He’s a very balanced candidate, and when the voters realize that he’s conservative (Mormons have one of the most conservative voting records of all religious groups), reasonable, and see his record they will be swayed. With our own versions of Howard Dean (Rudy), Dick Gephardt (Mccain) currently as the frontrunners, Mitt is the George W. of 2008 and will slowly emerge but will win the nomination strongly.

  5. Chris says:

    To add to columbus….

    Plus he is a Governor, and all the presidents we’ve elected since JFK have either been Governor’s or Vice Presidents. McCain, Allen, Newt have all been legislators and they don’t win the whitehouse. (See Dole, Kerry, etc).

    Romney gets a rating of “squishy” from me for the whole socialized medicine thing he did in Mass. We don’t need another W who will increase the size of government more than Clinton and add expensive new entitlements.

    I’m not ruling out Romney, but I’ve got reservations.

  6. columbus06 says:

    Chris, I certainly agree with you on your Governor point. There is no doubt that Romney is the strongest Governor candidate we have for the cycle. Huckabee looks good on the surface, but he has too much baggage and is record as a three term Governor will be easy for the Dems to attack. Also, he is horrible on crime and the death penalty. Regardless, we need to run a Governor- we can’t have another Bob Dole.

    On health care, Romney took an issue that doesn’t really belong to either party, and found a way to fix it that appeals to everyone. It will be a huge, unimpeachable selling point for Romney in the general- note that the clintons and ted kennedy both have praised it. Consider that and his strong business background along with his strong, proven positions on the traditionally conservative issues, i.e. the death penalty, taxes, gay marriage, and we have a darn good candidate. But of course there is plenty of campaigning left to flesh this all out.

  7. Chris says:

    Kennedy and Clinton praised No Child Left Behind too. That didn’t make it good policy or politics, as Kennedy went after Bush as soon as he signed it.

  8. pvsys says:

    First of all, I don’t think ya’ll are being fair to George Allen.

    Allen as served in the House, the Senate, **AND** was Governor of Virginia. (Virginia has a 1-term limit)

    Doesn’t Allen’s experience as governor of Virginia count for something?

    Regarding Romney… I think it is great he has brought some conservative policy to Mass.

    But I think that we are going to find as we examine his positions deeper that while he might seem like a conservative to Mass., he is actually rather too “moderate” by a Southerner’s, (including Texan’s) (…and the Christian Right’s) definition of Conservative.

    Regarding his Mormonism… I’m no bigot… I tend to be a “who cares as long as he/she can get the job done” type of guy… hey… I’ve had gays work under me in previous jobs and they know I was a right wing Conservative Christian Republican… I’ve even witnessed to them and told them they were going to Hell if they didn’t repent… And guess what… they knew they I was a fair-minded boss and that this didn’t affect their standing within that company we worked for and that they had just as much opportunity for promotion or raises as anyone else… In fact, I also recall staying up almost all night one night when I was at a student at Florida State discussing and debating various issues with the head of the Gay/Lesbian Student Union… so I’m not your stereo-typical Christian Conservative… I don’t fear or hate or misunderstand those with whom I disagree.

    But having said all of this, YES… Romney’s mormonism DOES bother me.

    Why? Because I’ve studied mormonism in depth and it makes about as much sense and has as about as much historical and factual evidence a religion of worshiping the Energizer Bunny would.

    If I met a mormon on in the workplace or any other setting, I’d exuse that person out of them simply probably being ignorant and not having really critically examined mormonism. After all, aren’t most of us what our parents brought us up to be? Right?

    But I expect more from a presidential candidate!

    -Rob McEwen

  9. debbie0040 says:

    19. For the 2008 Republican Presidential Nomination whom would you support? (Republicans Only)
    Rudy Giuliani 30%
    John McCain 20%
    Newt Gingrich 17%
    Mitt Romney 6%
    Bill Frist 5%
    George Allen 3%
    Rick Santorum 1%
    George Pataki 1%
    Chuck Hagel 1%
    Undecided 16%

    20. For the 2008 Democratic Presidential Nomination whom would you support? (Democrats Only)
    Hillary Clinton 31%
    Al Gore 21%
    John Edwards 15%
    Mark Warner 4%
    Wesley Clark 4%
    John Kerry 4% R
    uss Feingold 3%
    Joseph Biden 1%
    Evan Bayh 1%
    Bill Richardson 1%
    Ed Rendell 1%
    Tom Vilsack 1%
    Chris Dodd 1%
    Undecided 12%

  10. pvsys says:

    First, some, like Allen, are practically “hamstrung” from campaigning until they win their current seats. Therefore, it is hard to place too much weight on these polls until a few months AFTER the elections this fall.

    Others, like Newt, have all the time in the world to campaign… but pleeeeese… Newt doesn’t have a chance. Sure, he’d be a great advisor to have in the Whitehouse, but I’m quite sure he has peaked. But, goodness… much of his points come directly from attention he has attracted from his very excellent commentary in frequent Sean Hannity show conversations…. which is probably better than any advertising anyone could buy for getting likely Republican voter’s attention. Also, being a Georgia “native” who has held office in GA before would likely count for a few points which probably woudn’t happen in other places like Alabama or South Carolina. (There is that saying, “all politics is local”)

    Regarding Giuliani, I think his support is 1/2 a mile wide, and an inch deep.

    Consider the following article:

    Here are some excerpts from that article:

    “The insiders know Giuliani favors abortion and gay rights and gun control. They believe that being on his third wife and having been accused by his second of “open and notorious adultery” will not play as well in Manhattan, Kansas as it did in Manhattan, N.Y. Then there is his 1994 endorsement of New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, a liberal Democratic icon, over Republican George Pataki, which would certainly come back to haunt him in a GOP primary.”

    “Now, the key issue about Giuliani, beyond whether he will even run, is how “Joe and Jill” Republican will react during a primary campaign in which his personal history and political views will surely be used against him.”

    “There is no inconsistency between Giuliani’s strong poll ratings and the conventional wisdom. Most Americans pay little attention to the details of a candidate’s positions until a campaign begins. Remember, in 1988 Michael Dukakis was up 17 points on George Bush before his record as governor became the issue that killed his candidacy.”

    “Because of the way GOP delegates are apportioned, states in the culturally conservative Sunbelt and mountain west that voted for Bush have disproportionate clout in picking the presidential nominee”

    “None of this means that if Giuliani chooses to run he won’t be nominated. But it does make a reasonable case that the early polls on 2008 might be worth taking with a generous grain or salt.”

    I will add that the Democrat attack machine will have a field day with Guiliani’s personal life and his “tough” demeanor will be turned against him. He will then become every divorced women’s [email protected]#@$# ex-husband by the time the Dems are through with him.

  11. debbie0040 says:

    If the choice comes down to McCain or Rudy, voters will overlook a lot as far as Giuliani is concerned. McCain is reviled in the South and he even recently hired one of Howard Dean’s former staffer.

  12. debbie0040 says:

    Good quote from Erick in this article.

    Friday, Aug. 25, 2006 12:42 a.m. EDT
    Sen. John McCain Hires Howard Dean Campaign Vet

    In a move that’s drawn criticism from both the left and right, Sen. John McCain has added a veteran of Democrat Howard Dean’s presidential campaign to his team of advisers.

    The hiring of Internet guru Nicholas Mele has sparked speculation about the ideological direction the Arizona Republican might take in a 2008 run for the White House.

    McCain has also added a former Bush administration State Department official, trade negotiator Robert Zoellick, and both Mele and Zoellick confirmed that they plan to advise McCain as he explores the possibility of a presidential run, the New York Sun reports.

    “I have long admired Sen. McCain’s work on campaign finance reform and his independent streak,” Mele wrote on his blog. “This is a personal decision for me based on my own first-hand experience. I like Sen. McCain – I think he should be president!”

    Mele’s move raised eyebrows because of his prior ties to Dean, who represented the Democratic Party’s left wing in the 2004 race and is now chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

    At, Erick Ericson said the hiring of Mele indicated that McCain might attempt an independent bid for the White House.
    “At the end of the day, John McCain and his newfound friends on the left might win the media primary, but they will have a hard time winning a Republican primary,” Ericson wrote.

    Perhaps tellingly, Mele’s Internet marketing firm EchoDitto, whose clients include the Air America radio network, issued a statement saying: “We do not now, nor will we in the future, support Republican campaigns.

  13. debbie0040 says:

    Bill Frist and McCain both support amnesty for illegals. They BOTH pushed the ill fated Kennedy-McCain Immigration Bill.

    Illegal immigration is a HUGE issue in the South and West.

  14. pvsys says:

    McCain’s vote against the Bush tax cut is an “unforgivable” sin which will prevent him from possibly ever getting the Republican nomination. I’d like to ask McCain, if not then, “when”? Especially considering that the tax rates at that time were at historic highs percentage-wise… even higher percentage-wise than when were were in the middle of WWII. His campaign finance reform has also turned into the biggest joke. (He has actually done pretty good on trying to curb spending, war on terror, and pro-life issues… but none of these are enough to save him from his other mistakes.)

  15. CHelf says:

    Mele’s ties are not to extreme leftists but to independent candidates who distance themselves from traditional insider methods. You see these types often bouncing around. Dick Morris was with Clinton and then moved back to the Right. That doesn’t get much attention though.

    Mele brings a grassroots and internet marketing philosophy to the table, NOT Dean’s philosophy.

  16. CHelf says:


    When you say illegal immigration is HUGE in the South, are you saying that people are hiring them in droves here? Because the poll numbers are not matching with the numbers of illegals actually coming here and getting jobs. I think most people are all publicly screaming against illegal aliens but privately have a few watching their children and tending their pools and lawns.

  17. debbie0040 says:

    voters want something done about illegal immigration and not amnesty. voters want a crackdown.

    A very small percentage out of the overall number hire illegals.

    John McCain should run as a Democrat. He is not a Republican.

  18. CHelf says:

    They want something done but at the same time illegals are coming here in droves. Judging by the percentage increase in the number of illegals here, I’d say those who are saying they want something done are not practicing this in the private life.

    And I guess they don’t like amnesty for illegals but they love amnesty towards the Americans breaking the laws. So actually those who say they don’t want amnesty do want it but only for Americans?

  19. debbie0040 says:

    There needs to be very stiff penalties for those that knowingly hire illegals. Even jail time for repeat offenders.

    Take away the incentives for illegals to come here and they will leave.

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