A long Republican primary could help them

The weird CW that seems to form every four years around the idea that a long primary season will hurt the eventual winner (if we go through this every time, why are there states that still have their primaries out in July?) is starting up again, this time for Romney. But one of Romney’s biggest advantages compared to the other Republicans in the field was the perception that he wasn’t as far to the right as the other GOP candidates, something that doesn’t jive with the actual positions he takes.

So more ads like this couldn’t hurt him in the general election:

Translation: Romney supports access to health care! And he cares about helping the environment! How will anyone who supports those things win the general election?

Sure, if people want another 4 years of Barack Obama they’ll just vote for him, but the intuitive message from Santorum’s attacks has been that Romney isn’t a reactionary. And that helps him, since no one’s actually going to believe that he’s more liberal than Obama, just more moderate.

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