Romney’s Death Trap

Andrew Sullivan —  Feb 8 2012 @ 8:18pm

by Zack Beauchamp

Scott Galupo thinks winning the primary will cost Mitt the general:

There's good reason to believe Romney's relentlessly negative campaigning against former House Speaker Newt Gingrich—and, prospectively, Santorum—is driving up his unfavorables and killing his standing with independents…The more time and money that Romney is forced to spend fending off attacks on his right flank, the longer he will have to wait to repair his brand in the general-election fight against President Obama. Equally obviously, Romney can't openly make this plea. He can't say to conservatives, "Hey, stop attacking me now, because I need to start looking moderate soon!" 

Romney is in a sort of self-circling death trap: The more mud he's forced to sling at his conservative opponents, the more muddy he looks to the low-information middle. In effect, Romney grows weaker by acting stronger.