The GOP’s Best Isn’t Good

Kevin Drum continues to argue that Romney "was, without much question, the most electable of the primary bunch and the toughest opponent for Barack Obama":

Romney was the best they had. The very best. Let that sink in for a bit.

Herman Cain disagrees. Josh Marshall comments:

Needless to say, the factual claim here is preposterous, as are most things Cain says. But the drip drip drip of casual disrespect for Romney from supposed supporters and the assumption that he's a bad candidate who's destined for defeat is no joke.

Meanwhile, John Sides asks whether Romney really is a bad candidate. Andrew Gelman nods vigorously:

There’s evidence from various sources that centrists do better in elections compared to political extremists. When I looked at Romney several months ago, I thought voters would like him because, compared to his primary-election rivals Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, etc., he’s a centrist. I was wrong when I predicted that "Romney will start the general election campaign with a healthy lead." One thing I didn’t account for was that Romney has not done the expected move to the center during the general election campaign.