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GOP’s primary calendar may aid Romney
Past run also in his favor
Question of the Day
“Republicans normally award the gold to the guy who has been around the park,” added pollster John Zogby. “They also nominate the more moderate candidate. The exception was Reagan, but he was next in line after 1976 and he had the good fortune to battle several prominent moderates for the nomination.”
“That said, the edge goes to Romney just on history,” Mr. Zogby said.
Ironically, the moves by Republican officials in Arizona, Florida and Michigan to jump the line and move their delegate-selection contests up to Feb. 28 in violation of Republican National Committee rules are unlikely to render them the kingmakers they had hoped to be.
Even if they are able to seat their full delegations — instead of only half, as the party rules dictate — at the GOP presidential nominating convention in August, candidates like Mr. Romney and Mr. Perry would not be able to officially clinch the nomination one day sooner than the current April 24 projection.
In any case, the RNC appears to be on the way to achieving its goal of stretching out the primary-caucus timetable to avoid hasty decisions, giving more Republicans in more of the country a say in who best can win in November.
“Given a fully contested primary, without one candidate gaining huge momentum in early primaries, the nomination process is likely to go until April or May, regardless of Arizona, Florida or Michigan moving up,” said former Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan, who is staying neutral in the contest.
Some think that the outcome will be known earlier than May because the competition for contributions will produce momentum behind one of the candidates and pressure will mount on the rest of the field to withdraw. It is also possible to have a prolonged war of attrition like the 2008 Democratic contest between Mr. Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, but that will require at least two well-funded candidates.
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About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
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