John Avlon: "Romney is a political alien in his own home states"
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney addresses the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable at the Newseum June 13, 2012 in Washington, DC. Romney outlined the agenda he would pursue in his first 100 days in office, including approving the Keystone Pipeline, repealing and replacing health care reform and fundamentally changing tax policy. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
June 13th, 2012
03:51 PM ET

John Avlon: "Romney is a political alien in his own home states"

Mitt Romney spoke to a group of corporate executives ahead of President Barack Obama's economic speech tomorrow, saying he'll make America "the most attractive place in the world" for innovators, investors and job creators.

In his latest column for The Daily Beast, John Avlon notes for the first time in presidential election history, a candidate will not count on his home state for votes.

John Avlon is a CNN contributor, OutFront political strike team member, and senior columnist for Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

The Republican with roots in three blue states gives up on all of them, writes John Avlon.

No Home-Field Advantage for Mitt Romney

There are a lot of things different about this presidential campaign: an African-American incumbent running against a Mormon, most obviously. But on a more mundane level, there is uncharted strategic territory as well: never before has a presidential candidate written off their home state.

Or all of them, in Mitt Romney's case.  Despite headquartering his campaign in Boston, the former governor of Massachusetts isn't going to win his home state this fall. More significantly, he isn't going to try.

Ditto California, the state where he owns a beachfront La Jolla home complete with a $55,000 car elevator. And likely Michigan, the state of his birth, where his father served two terms as governor.

Perhaps no other detail quite highlights Romney's obvious personal disconnect with the conservative populist base. Sure, Romney is socially conservative as a matter of faith, a devout family man who doesn’t curse or smoke or drink. But more formatively, he is a product of Harvard Business School and Bain Capital. As a quarter-billionaire, he’s part of the private-jet set, and his homes have tended to be in decidedly blue states, hobnobbing with the very same coastal elites the conservative populist base has traditionally hated. Shorter version: he isn't a fan of NASCAR, but some of his best friends are owners.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It would give Romney a connection to the states that voted against him should he win the White House. Red and blue is more a political than a personal distinction in his experience—after all, he calls blue states home.

But writing off his home states seems historically unprecedented. To be clear, past presidential candidates have lost them, most recently Al Gore in 2000 when winning Tennessee would have put him over the top.


Filed under: Political Strike Team • Politics
soundoff (One Response)
  1. zzzed

    So now Willard will say he's "homeless"?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Reply

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