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No superhero on Super Tuesday


Photo: xedos4

Super Tuesday brought no upheaval with the expected voting patterns of the participating states. The candidates have largely fallen into their respective corners, hunkering down with the segments of the voting population that one would expect, given these GOP candidates and their stated goals and values. The distribution of the voters’ support could have been predicted weeks ago. So who are these voters, and how are they distributing their support?

Ron Paul does not appear to have the momentum to carry on with a successful presidential campaign. His ideology has not been able to gain enough traction across the nation to propel him to front-runner status.

Newt Gingrich won Georgia. In terms of Super Tuesday, this was his only victory and a low hanging fruit; it is his home state. Even Walter Mondale won his home state. Although the contest is not decided, his performance has not engendered any significant hope that he will rise to become a serious challenger to the two front-runners. It is not too difficult to extrapolate his difficulties with the GOP base considering his personal life. Gingrich does not seem either to have the credible stalwart conservative ideals that appeal to many GOP voters, or the experience of a fiscally-minded pundit. There are also those odd moments that seem to highlight what many see as a disconnect with logic: his lunar colony proposal seemed to delight (non humorously) only his supporters in Florida.

Rick Santorum has not surprised with his ability to mobilize the voters, who primarily concerned with electing an individual peddling a conservative social agenda. His politics are comforting to a religious base that feels social conservatism trumps whatever else a candidate may offer. These voters may not be the small-government advocates who often flock to Paul or Mitt Romney, as their concerns focus more on the government’s efforts to maintain an often religiously-guided, socially-conservative domestic policy. The question then becomes: if Santorum were the nominee, would this segment of the population have enough momentum to influence the votes of the socially progressive independents and moderates of both parties? So far, he has done well in rural states, but his electoral college votes may just not be enough.

Romney, on the other hand, has widespread if somewhat lackluster appeal to those whose primary concern is the ability of a GOP candidate to defeat the President. Presumably, these voters do not see social conservatism as the driving force for a successful run at the presidency. Implicit in this approach is the fear that an ultra-conservative candidate will not garner enough support in a national election to defeat Obama. Romney tends to appeal to voters who seek a different approach to the nation’s financial future as the primary concern.

Of course, the tension between the two prevailing camps will theoretically dissipate once the candidate is chosen. The issue then will be the swing voters. Will a seemingly dispassionate Romney elicit enough forceful conviction to sway the people on the fence? Will moderates who view Santorum’s social policies as divisive be convinced to vote for him merely to get a Republican in the white house?

Staying tuned.

About Maitri Pamo

Matri was born in Guatemala City and emigrated to the U.S. with her parents when she was a toddler. Her childhood years were spent in Washington D.C. She was fortunate to have been aided and encouraged to apply to a great school in Virginia by a teacher who saw a spark in her when she taught her in the DC public school system. Maitri was disadvantaged in that she then became the only Latina in her class for many years. When it came time to go to college, she left for New York City, the place of her childhood dreams, to attend Barnard College, Columbia University. She graduated with a degree in Foreign Area Studies, with a concentration in Latin America. When she finally realized what she wanted to do professionally, she enrolled in three extra years of undergraduate coursework in order to fulfill the requirements for application to veterinary medical school. She graduated from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

In addition to her professional life, a life she finds not only rewarding but constantly challenging, Maitri is a wife and a mother of three young children. She is an activist, interested in furthering knowledge, participating and directly involving herself in the areas of human and non human animal rights and environmentalism. She tries to engage in the world around her to influence it as much as she can to help secure a healthy, peaceful living environment for her children and all other living beings on the planet. She is a benevolent misanthrope, a polyglot, a lover of travel. She has wild plans of obtaining a law degree when her children are older. She is currently practicing emergency medicine and volunteers her services wherever they are needed.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.

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