Conservatives Finally Accepting Romney’s Inevitablity?
A new Gallup poll suggests that Mitt Romney seems to be finally getting some respect from the one part of the GOP base that has been dismissing him for the better part of a year:
PRINCETON, NJ — Mitt Romney is the now the only candidate that a majority of conservative and moderate/liberal Republicans nationwide see as an “acceptable” GOP nominee for president. Conservative Republicans are more likely to say Romney would be an acceptable nominee than either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum.
Fewer than half of conservative Republicans see Rick Perry, Ron Paul, or Jon Huntsman as acceptable nominees.
Romney’s broad acceptability across ideological lines is decidedly not the case for his competitors. Conservative Republicans view Gingrich, Santorum, and Perry as more acceptable than do moderate/liberal Republicans. On the other hand, moderate/liberal Republicans on average view Paul and Huntsman as more acceptable than conservatives.
More significantly, Romney is the only candidate seen as “acceptable” by a majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents:
Meanwhile, Romney is breaking the 30% barrier in the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll:
Much of this, of course, is simply a reflection of the fact that Republicans are coming to accept the inevitability of Romney winning the nomination, something that New Hampshire seems set to confirm even further tonight. Absent an electoral stumble on Romney’s part, I would expect the GOP to continue consolidating behind Romney, shutting out the other candidates and possibly bringing this race to a quicker end than many seem to be anticipating.