In a recent CBS News poll, both Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are statistically tied with President Obama in a head-to-head hypothetical election. (This is completely hypothetical because, similar to the actual presidential election, a Republican candidate is not determined nationally, but by delegates from each state.)
Say what you will about Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and the respective supporters of each. Out of all the candidates in this race, they have polled the most consistently. While the indecisive were riding the Palin-Trump-Bachmann-Perry-Cain-Gingrich-Santorum-Huntsman(?) roller coaster, Romney and Paul have had their loyal base of supporters before and throughout this primary. Perhaps this latest poll demonstrates an understanding among many of the other candidates’ fickle supporters that they would ultimately back Romney or Paul, though reluctantly, on game day. (Incidentally, both Romney and Paul also received the highest percentages among Democrats and Independents.)
While many public and private officials have degraded Virginia’s strict requirements to be on the primary ballot, could it be that we actually set up a system where the ballots reflect candidates who are able to garner widespread support consistently and over a long period of time?
Perhaps Virginia’s system needs fixing. But perhaps it is also wise to make a serious candidate demonstrate consistent support over a long period in order to be on the ballot, rather than be able to ride a wave of weekly emotional fervor. Just think, what if Buddy Roemer were the flavor of the day on Super Tuesday?