With another poll —Rasmussen— showing a Romney surge in California, Team Romney announced that the former Massachusetts governor is ending his campaign day tomorrow in Long Beach with a 7 PM rally near the Long Beach airport.
Mike Huckabee probably didn’t do his effort to hang on to his voters with his attack on Sean Hannity, widely regarded as one of the nicest guys in talk radio, and a hero to the military and their families for his many concerts and rallies on behalf of the troops. Like many other talkers, Hannity is urging conservatives to rally to Romney to keep the party of Reagan the party of Reagan. Huckabee’s disappointment in Rush for declaring “a vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain,” and now Hannity for endorsing Romney probably extends to Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and the other talkers who day in and day out have been advancing conservative principles for the past decade and who rightly see the GOP contest now as a clear choice between McCain and Romney. Huck’s salvo at Sean would have been ill-advised under any circumstances, but to accuse the very popular conservative leader of being motivated by anything other than his own convictions was deeply offensive to people who know Sean and admire his generous, always upbeat spirit and his commitment to conservative principles.
The GOP race has become the D.C. GOP and MSM v. the GOP’s conservative base, its activists, and its down-ticket office holders who fear an Obama-McCain mismatch. McCain used the bogus and now widely and sharply discredited attack on Romney’s support for victory in Iraq last week to stall Romney’s momentum in Florida, but that can’t work a second time or over a much wider map. McCain will win New York, New Jersey and Connecticut (if he doesn’t, his campaign is over) but Tuesday’s night’s contests in Tennessee, Georgia, Minnesota, Colorado, California and beyond will be a series of fascinating struggles over the GOP’s first principles as well as its competitiveness going into the fall. Keep an eye on Arizona as well. If Senator McCain can’t capture a majority in his home state, it will telegraph just how perilous his nomination would be to the party as a whole.