How Electable Is Romney?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 31 2012 @ 6:23pm

Bill Galston warns Democrats not to underestimate him: 

Romney’s support among Floridians is identical now to what it was three months ago. Voters interviewed after his defeat in South Carolina viewed him just as favorably as did those interviewed before that contest. And even nationally, adults interviewed in the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal survey give Romney exactly the same share of the vote as they did last November (or last June, for that matter). As of now, anyway, Romney may be bruised, but the primary fight has not administered anything like a knockout blow to his general election prospects.

Richard Miniter questions Romney's ability to win over the base: 

If Romney is going to defeat Obama, he will have to unite the Grand Old Party behind him. So far, there is no evidence in any state that he can do just that.

Rick Pearlstein, on the other hand, doubts Romney will have problems with Republicans:  

I've never been impressed with the argument that Mitt Romney makes for a weak Republican nominee because conservatives don't like him. That's not how that party works. … Think back four years. When the race was still up in the air, the venom aimed at McCain was ten times worse than anything being suffered by Mitt. I collected the stuff back then: Rush Limbaugh said McCain threatened "the American way of life as we've always known it"; Ann Coulter said he was actually "a Democrat" (oof!); an article in the conservative magazine Human Events called him "the new Axis of Evil"; and Michael Reagan, talk radio host and the 40th president's son, said "he has contempt for conservatives, who he thinks can be duped into thinking he's one of them."

Then McCain wrapped up the nomination, and Mike Reagan suddenly said, "You can bet my father would be itching to get out on the campaign trail working to elect him."