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.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. PJ says:

    In the Gallup poll, the percentage voting for non-Romney is now roughly the same as it was before Romney started to gain. In the five day average 12/26/11 to 01/2/12, 56% wanted a candidate other than Romney, that percentage is now 55%. Those who left Gingrich and Bachmann (-11) seem to have picked Santorum (+12) instead of Romney, Romney’s gain (+6) seem to be more about those picking None/Any/No (-4) choosing Romney.

  2. legion says:

    While I agree with Romney’s inevitability for the nomination, I have a question for those in the crowd: What exactly do you think Romney wold _do_ as President? What positions or convictions do you think he actually holds? What do you think he does when he’s not in front of an audience?

  3. David M says:


    What do you think he does when he’s not in front of an audience?

    Easy, he asks what positions and convictions he should hold for the next audience.

  4. JohnMcC says:

    Hopefully the nomination of Mr Romney will be the proof that the ‘Tea Party’ was a a manufactured ‘astroturf’ operation. It will at least make them shut up, for which thank God.