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The Romney campaign to come: Echoes of 1976 and 1988?

- January 19, 2012

A couple of months ago, Mitt Romney was a hapless would-be frontrunner who couldn’t stay ahead of a motley crew of unelectable cranks, extremists and vanity candidates. (There’s some overlap in these categories.) Then he won the first two states. Now, ahead in the polls in South Carolina and Florida, Romney is on track for the Republican nomination in the worst election year for a presidential incumbent since — well, since 2008.

What happened isn’t much of a surprise. The shopping period is over; the time for buying has begun. Buying, of course, refers to candidates running ads — Romney is willing and able to outspend his rivals here — and voters taking a hard look at the candidates. They must decide both who they would be comfortable with as president and who can win the election.

What’s next? No one can say for sure. Here’s my guess, which might seem counterintuitive at first but is consistent with the history of previous presidential campaigns. . . .

See here for the rest of the story.