What challenges does this pose for Mitt Romney? First, he will have to break through some of the traditional barriers posed to any and all Republican candidates. While Republicans have been making steady progress in attracting Hispanic voters, Obama's unilateral (and unconstitutional) amnesty proposal has had real and measurable effects on voting preferences, essentially shoring up that part of his bloc. Given Black misconceptions about Mormonism, Romney will have a difficult time winning over that group. Gays are virtually a lost cause. This leaves former Obama voters in the Asian, Jewish, and White categories.
There is a marked disillusionment with Obama in these groups. Simply from my wife's conversations with her side of the family, uniformly liberal in political orientation, nobody is happy with Obama's performance. They either wanted more socialism or less, more jobs, faster withdrawal from foreign entanglements, and other promises kept which were not. These are the voters who will enable Romney to win in November. This is Obama's Achilles' heel. He has lost the support of White, middle class America. This group, counting only registered Democrats, accounts for twenty-three of his forty-seven percent voting bloc. If they fail to vote, or switch to vote for a Republican who is at least perceived as being fairly moderate, Obama will lose. The excitement over having the first Black president elected has ebbed. Mission accomplished! Voters are now beginning to judge him by his performance, which has been extremely poor.
I think Romney will handily win this election. To enable this, Republicans will have to be extra vigilant about voter fraud, especially with regard to non-citizens voting. The illegal immigrants (and even legal immigrants who are not citizens) cannot legally vote and should be prevented from doing so, yet there have been many instances in which voting by non-citizens has been documented, even in very close elections. If the Republican party can control this factor, Obama's pandering to illegal immigrants will lose much of its benefit and become, in fact, a disadvantage with the vast majority of voters who are against amnesty.
Republicans will likely show up in droves, increasing the traditional gulf between Republicans and Democrats who actually cast ballots on election day. Certainly many Democrats will also participate, but the advantage held by the historic quality of the last election will be greatly diminished. There is much stronger antipathy for Obama among voters than there is excitement for his candidacy.
Romney's task now is to speak aggressively for conservative principles, explain why and how his ideas will revitalize the economy, and attack the Obama record using facts and figures. Americans have become increasingly savvy about economics and how government policy affects such matters, especially those who vote. Talk radio has been a driving force behind this, even for liberals, who must now attempt to refute the arguments of their conservative peers. This means that the voting public will be able to follow detailed explanations of how and why Obama's policies have weakened the economy and why a conservative alternative would strengthen it. Romney is just the person to make that argument.
Obama will likely use ad hominem attacks against Romney's business acumen, attempting to use class envy and misinformation to turn a positive into a negative in the minds of voters. Facts and raw data, clearly presented, will overcome this. Paint Obama as he is, a narrow partisan who ignores reality and the nation's well-being in favor of his pet ideas, and Romney will win by a landslide.