Throughout the ups and downs of the Republican presidential nomination process, one name has remained fairly constant- that of Mitt Romney. He was unofficially designated the front-runner early on and has never really relinquished that position. Nearly every poll since the race started has shown him either leading or a close second, and recent polls show him in a tight race with Barack Obama, should it come to that, either winning or losing by a couple of percentage points, a virtual tie.
This is not to discount the recent sudden rise of Herman Cain in the polls, or the just as sudden drop of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s support. There is still a lot of time and anything can happen. Two-thirds of Republicans nationwide say that they’ve yet to choose a candidate. Nearly every candidate running has had his or her day in the sun, when their numbers went up and commentators viewed them most favorably.
Yet, time may be in Romney’s favor. He is a known quantity. He has, as they say, been thoroughly ‘vetted.’ There are no surprises here. It’s reasonable to assume that through his previous run for President, and this one, pretty much everything he’s done, every stand he’s taken, has come to light.
Other poll results are equally revealing. Romney does well with voters who affiliate themselves with the Tea Party, though he polls just as well with Republicans who are not Tea Party followers. One gets the sense that his followers are not as fanatically loyal as, say, Ron Paul’s, but there are more of them, and they may believe they are more pragmatic in that they feel Romney stands the best chance of defeating Obama, which it’s fair to say is every Republican’s overriding aim. Romney may simply win the nomination by default, as other candidates realize they cannot win and drop out. He could be the last man standing.
Those other candidates have seen their fortunes rise and fall and yet they always seem to fall back into single digits in polling support. Right now, it looks like a two-man race between Romney and Cain, with Perry now a distant third.
There has been much speculation over the months about who Romney might choose as a running mate. For a while, Michele Bachmann was the favorite. Lately, many observers have suggested Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida, who has said he’s not a candidate for president or vice-president.
While the race is far from settled, it increasingly looks like Mitt Romney will be the nominee, if only from stamina and perseverance.