Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Romney

by Zoë Pollock

The process of GOP acceptance could work to Romney's advantage as long as Republicans stay unhappy with Obama:

One remarkably consistent pattern across the last several decades is that incumbent presidents, not their challengers, drive the behavior of supporters and opponents alike. According to Pew, when George W. Bush stood for reelection in 2004, nearly every Republican cast his vote "for Bush," but only 33 percent of Democrats voted "for John Kerry"—the remaining 66 percent said they were voting "against Bush." The same pattern held when Bob Dole challenged Clinton in ’96: most Democrats voted for Clinton, while most Republicans voted against him, rather than for Dole. It also held in 1992, when George H.W. Bush’s supporters voted for his re-election, and Clinton’s voted en masse against Bush. This year will be no exception. When Pew inquired last October, Republicans by nearly 3-to-1 said they were motivated to vote against Obama.