by Amanda Litvinov
Remember when primary seasons were exciting? When a candidate could pack an entire football stadium with passionate, hopeful crowds?
This year’s Republican primary season could be described as a slow-motion slog to the end zone, and yesterday’s 10-state contest known as Super Tuesday was another highly hyped but anticlimactic event. Rick Santorum nabbed Tennessee and Newt Gingrich scored in his home state of Georgia, but both failed to even get on the ballot in the key state of Virginia. Mitt Romney pulled off another ugly win in Ohio after outspending his opponents by an unknown amount of money to tackle Santorum, who was polling well there. The clearest outcome is that none of the Republican candidates can score a touchdown with the middle class.
The GOP candidates don’t differ much from one to the next when it comes to failing on issues important to the middle class: protecting every child’s right to an education, developing economic plans that level the playing field so all hard-working Americans have a fair shot, and respecting the fundamental rights of working people. Middle class Americans aren’t interested in teacher bashing, protecting corporate tax loopholes, and stripping working people of their rights.
Although Mitt Romney garnered the most delegates at the end of the night, he failed to convince an overwhelming number of Ohio’s middle class voters that he’s the Republican MVP. His Ohio catchphrase was “the economy is what I do”—begging the question, for whom? Romney’s been clear about his intention to give the nation’s wealthiest citizens and corporations more tax handouts, putting even more of the burden on working families and the programs they rely on, like Social Security and Medicare. Accordingly, in Ohio and all the rest of the Super Tuesday states, Romney fared best with the very richest voters.
Romney, Santorum (and Gingrich and Paul) and their conservative pundit cheerleaders will go on trying to convince hard working, lower and middle income voters that they know what’s best, but their target audience seems unconvinced.
Whichever candidate gets to do the victory dance at the Republican convention, he’ll find himself up against an even tougher opponent in President Obama, who’s built up a solid record of wins for the middle class.