In June, FreedomWorks invited 150 Tea Party organizers to a planning session where participants were asked for their candidate of choice in the 2012 field. Only one Tea Party activist at the meeting supported Romney, [FreedomWorks president Matt] Kibbe said.
Tea Party conservatives remain outraged over Romney’s record on health care reform. In recent months, he has defended the plan he signed into law as governor of Massachusetts, in which residents are required to buy health insurance.
“Wary” isn’t the word I would use to describe the Tea Party’s feelings about Romney. “Despise” is more like it.
Tina Korbe at Hot Air:
From a horse-race perspective, it looks to me like Allah is really right: Romney might actually eventually need former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin or Texas Gov. Rick Perry to enter the race, just to split the Tea Party vote, presently concentrated on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who has steadily gained ground against Romney in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
To be sure, Romney still comfortably leads in fundraising (sans a Bachmann shocker — she hasn’t yet released her fundraising numbers for the second quarter) and in the polls. Perhaps he could win the primary without much support from the Tea Party and the so-called Christian Right. But he would absolutely need that support to win the general election. By the same token, to actually win the presidency, any strictly Tea Party candidate would need the mainstream support Romney seems most likely to garner.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
If Palin and Bachmann both run, at least one of them will drop out early, maybe even before the Iowa caucuses. Mitt won’t win Iowa and he’ll probably win Hew Hampshire. Then we get to see how much the GOP base dislikes him.
Mitt can raise a gazillion dollars and get all the establishment endorsements he wants, the base won’t care. The motivated voters will be the Tea Partiers – they despise Romney and hate the GOP establishment almost as much as they hate Obama.
If Romney wins the GOP nomination the base will do what they did in 2008 – stay home.