Don't Discount Mitt Romney in the South Just Yet
Don't discount Mitt Romney in the South just yet
March 7, 2012
The conventional wisdom is that Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts and a Northeast Republican, might have a difficult time winning over southern states. However, one must look at the details in order to see that this is not necessarily the case.
Mitt Romney is estimated to have won at least 115 of delegate votes in southern states so far. Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas have a total of 382 delegates to allocate. Romney has a great opportunity to pick up delegates in these proportionally awarded states because none are winner take all. This means that Romney must do well in northern states such as Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Southern California in order to offset smaller gains in southern states.
When you break down what type of voters are pulling the lever for Romney, it is virtually the same in northern states. Conservative value voters break from Romney while he wins over more affluent voters who care about beating President Obama.
In terms of a general election, Romney still has the opportunity to win over the southern vote. While Newt Gingrich won Georgia, exit polls state that 81 percent of Republican primary voters would support a Republican nomination. This is likely the feeling in other southern states, where most Republicans would rather have a consensus around a general election candidate much sooner than later.