Posted by | March 14, 2012 17:28 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

No matter what the former Speaker says, the race is down to two candidates.  And I’m torn.  All along, I’ve been rooting against Governor Romney because any other opponent gives the president a good chance at 400 electoral votes and control of both chambers of Congress. I’m now having second thoughts (and no it’s not because of the strength of Senator Santorum), for two reasons.

First, as Joe Nocera pointed out, an Obama rout of Santorum will lead to a stronger GOP candidate in 2016 as the Republicans realize they must hew toward the center in order to win an election.  An Obama defeat of Romney (even if its close) will lead to recriminations from the right that they lost because Romney lacked credentials on the far right and possibly another fun nomination fight in 2016 (Palin anyone?)

Second, Santorum now has realized that he can’t get a majority and simply wants to block Romney from getting one.  He actually has a small chance of doing so after his recent run of victories.  And doing so could lead to a brokered convention and a nominee stronger than Romney (who is getting weaker with each passing day, and I’d now be happy to have the president run against).

So um, Go Romney???  That really hurt me to type.

By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.