Romney tops Perry in nomination betting odds
Today, for the first time since Rick Perry officially entered the race for president, Mitt Romney traded above Rick Perry on intrade.com in terms of betting odds to receive the Republican nomination. At 9 PM Mountain Time, Romney was trading 37% while Perry was trading 35.5%
This doesn’t surprise me at all because, as I’ve said a few times on these pages, I am convinced that Republicans, even (or especially) the most conservative Republicans are more focused on beating Barack Obama than on ideological purity.
And despite brave words from conservatives about how Perry’s fire-and-brimstone conservatism, his desire to teach “intelligent design” in science class, and his cowboy-ness won’t matter in the general election, I think most Republicans believe that they will matter at the margin and wonder whether it’s a chance worth taking. In other words, as I’ve asked before in slightly different terms, would you rather have a candidate that is 75% good on policy and 60% likely to beat Obama, or a candidate that is 90% good on policy and 50%-55% likely to beat Obama.
I remain convinced that that is Republicans’ choice, and I believe, though I wouldn’t bet my life on it, that Romney will get the nod simply based on electability.
That said, I sure wish he’d stop giving such stupid policy answers, like saying that the problem with Social Security isn’t its funding. At some point, he may be so much of a RINO that even those who want to beat Obama won’t be able to stomach voting for him, at least in the primary, even if they think he could win in the general election.
I am not predicting that Perry won’t pass Romney in the betting again at some point, but the move from leading by 8% after getting into the race to trailing by 1.5% after the first debate is playing into precisely the script I’ve expected.
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