Forbes Media chairman and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes has a message for those who think that no one likes GOP front-runner Mitt Romney and that President Obama’s going to coast to re-election:
Don’t bet on it.
Forbes recalls the 1980 election, in which Jimmy Carter was far ahead of Ronald Reagan in the polls in March of the election year (see chart below).
Carter’s team was jubilant that Reagan was winning the GOP primaries, Forbes says, because they considered Reagan a far-right radical who would be easy to beat (This is ironic on many levels, starting with the fact that Reagan’s policies would now be far too centrist to appeal to many of today’s GOP voters).
But, helped by the Iranian hostage crisis and sputtering economy, Reagan demolished Carter during the campaign and then went on to win a landslide victory.
Romney can do the same thing, Forbes argues.
And what about a “brokered convention” in which the GOP would choose a new candidate who isn’t yet in the race? Any chance of that happening?
Yes, there’s a chance, says Forbes. Less than a one-in-a-hundred chance.
So Romney will be the nominee, Forbes says, and today’s weak economy could help him unseat the president.
Here’s a chart of polling results in the 1980 election from “A Time For Choosing.” As you can see, Jimmy Carter (red) was significantly ahead of Ronald Reagan in March, only to lose the election in a landslide.
Photo: A Time For Choosing
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