By Kira Zalan |
Former Gov. Mitt Romney may have edged out former Sen. Rick Santorum in the closely-watched Super Tuesday primary in Ohio, but the Romney camp isn’t breathing easily yet. With former House Speaker Newt Gingrich securing his home state of Georgia, Rick Santorum sweeping Tennessee and Oklahoma, and Rep. Ron Paul pulling 40 percent of the vote in Virginia (only he and Romney made it on to the ticket there), it seems that Romney may be struggling to win over the hearts and minds of the South. Though Romney scored a big win in Florida in January, most don’t consider the Sunshine State to be the heart of Dixie. Since the “southern strategy” was adapted in the late 1960s by Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater, the South has been regarded as a key bloc of Republican support. Some argue that southerners will support a Republican nominee, no matter who it is, against Barack Obama. Others suggest that even if Romney wins the GOP nomination, his struggles in the region will continue as he will face a lack of the Republican enthusiasm that he’ll need to beat President Obama in the general election. Here is the Debate Club’s take on whether Mitt Romney is vulnerable in the South:
David Crockett Author of 'Running Against the Grain: How Opposition Candidates Win Presidential Election'
Jamie Chandler Professor at Hunter College
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst
Judson Phillips Founder of Tea Party Nation
Krystal Ball MSNBC Contributor and Former Democratic Nominee for Congress in the First District of Virginia