On the heels of the Concord Monitor declaring anyone but Mitt, the New Hampshire Union Leader echoed a similar sentiment yesterday. The Union Leader, which has endorsed McCain, wrote “the more Mitt Romney speaks, the less believable he becomes.” Although not as influential as, say the Des Moines Register in Iowa, the New Hampshire editorial boards continue the calculation vs. conviction storyline contributing to McCain’s resurgence in the state.
What remains to be seen is whether or not Republican primary voters are prepared to vote for principles over positions. McCain still holds many views out of line with the base, most notably on illegal immigration (which sank his campaign over the summer) and campaign finance reform. While Romney has reversed his positions to more conservative stances, it is unlikely that he will change again if in the Oval Office.
However, the deciding issue for voters desperate to maintain their hold on the White House may be electability. McCain runs the strongest amongst the Republicans, beating Clinton by an average 4.7%. And, can the party that skewered John Kerry really nominate their own Massachusetts flip-flopper?
Update: Rasmussen has recent numbers measuring the core opposition for each of the major candidates. A startling 47% of the electorate said they would definitely not vote for Romney, while 33% said the same for McCain. What’s remarkable is the intensity of dislike toward Romney despite his brief stay on the national scene.