March 7th, 2012
01:58 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Will GOP voters accept Romney? Does it matter?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Mitt Romney came out ahead on Super Tuesday, but plenty of Republicans voted for Rick Santorum instead, and Georgia went for Newt Gingrich by a decisive margin. The morning after, readers are exploring two questions. First, why haven't GOP voters fully embraced Romney? Second, does this apparent conflict actually mean anything in the long run?

Analysis: In key Romney win, some warning signs remain

One reader offered this theory:

chadpv: "Republicans' main focus is who can beat Obama in November. That's what is driving votes. But Republicans are not confident that Romney (or any candidate in the run) can beat Obama; they just think if someone can squeeze a win, it will be Romney. That is why he cannot really 'seal the deal' as fast as most Republican primaries. That is also why the field is very weak, Anyone who has wide appeal with the Republicans will wait four more years when there is not an incumbent running and their chances are better to win."

Doucher: "And this is one of many problems with the two-party system; they want to beat each other more than they want to give us a good candidate."

Another person said Romney doesn't need to worry too much.

GoPSULions: "The ultra conservatives that are not now voting for Romney will vote for whoever wins the nomination rather than vote for Obama. So this is why Romney is not concerned about their votes in the primaries. He is focused on staying more to the middle so he can potentially win the swing states and voters that are not locked to voting straight party lines."

Of course, several other readers disagreed.

anamule: "That may be true, but he can't count on it. Especially after he swerves back towards the center during the general election. The far right, who already suspect he is a closet liberal, may just have their suspicians confirmed and feel completely betrayed. That doesn't bode well for a high turnout for him."

eyewonder: "I still contend that voters in the swing states will not elect a Mormon to the White House. That center section of the country, and the South, that voted for Santorum will not vote for Romney. I continue to hope the GOP Leadership has a master plan for the convention. What I see and hear from both Romney and Santorum kind of scares me."

TomStPaul: "Don't know that I agree. The ultras are do or die, black or white, y'ain't fer us yer against us types. If Romney's (the GOP candidate), no they won't vote for Obama, but they will either stay home or write in someone like Santorum or Ron Paul or Sara Palin or some other absolutist, just to send a message (though no one will be listening to them at that point)."

Like eyewonder above, iReporter Omekongo Dibinga of Washington said he thought Romney's religious beliefs are one factor that hurts him.

omekongo: "These are the three reasons that Romney is having trouble sealing the deal: 1) he's out of touch with the average voter; 2) his record on healthcare; and 3) he's a Mormon. The only thing he can really change about himself is the first issue. He has to do a better job of connecting with voters."

Like TomStPaul above, several readers wondered whether voters will skip the polls.

nocode42: "Oh come on, who else are they going to back? Obama? Why does everyone keep acting like Romney's inability to appeal to a lunatic right-wing fringe that is maybe 15% of the population (but 55% of the GOP primary voting population) is some sort of bad thing? If he can win without appealing to them, it'd be the best thing to happen to America in decades ... show these fruit loops we're tired of their nonsense and backwards ways."

pxypylon: "He needs those votes to beat Obama. The concern isn't that they'll vote for Obama instead. The concern is that they will stay home on Election Day."

Indeed, iReporter Katy Brown of Kent, Ohio, said she didn't vote in her state's tight primary.

"There's not a person on the ballot, Democratic or Republican, that I think deserves to be president," she said.

She has been a conservative voice at CNN iReport for years, including during the 2008 election. Here's how she summarized her views, in a comment response to another reader:

kbrown0419: "Romney, too disconnected from the real world. Paul, too far out there, however, I do agree with some of his ideas. Gingrich, like Paul, some things I agree with, but I feel like he disappeared. Santorum, way too religion and tea party-based for my taste. Big things I'm looking at: abortion/birth control, higher education, military, gay rights, and, oddly enough, the whole marijuana deal. I've done my research. However, I could not get myself to vote on a single person. There's no one I could mark down and feel I made the right decision. I, like the rest of American voters, have put my faith in other voters and hope they make the right choice in the primaries because I certainly felt like I couldn't. Come November I will be at the polls."

William Bernstein of Virginia Beach, Virginia, didn't vote, either. His state's ballot situation was a bit different.

WCNreporter: "Even though I live in Virginia where the primaries were being held today, I decided not to go vote, not because I am a Republican or a Democrat, but I am just not sure about either of the presidential candidates in the running right now. But hopefully that will be cleared up by the general election this fall. On the ballot here in Virginia is only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, so even then, not much of a choice."

Will things work themselves out? What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below. Or, answer this CNN iReport question on video: Why can't Romney seal the deal?

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Isaac

    If being a Mormon is truly regarded as a problem, then I'm ashamed to be a citizen of a country that has made so little progress. We fought for rights for African Americans. We fought for rights for women. We are even fighting for rights for LGBT. Yet, somehow this kind of discrimination isn't treated the same way? Hypocrisy. Leave your bigotry at the door.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • clarke

      Well said, thank you

      March 8, 2012 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Yes, it appears that this is the real issue. In fact, it is mentioned in almost every news article that Romney is a Mormon and that is a problem. The extreme left media and extreme right wingers are destroying this country.

      March 8, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Not sure why so many (not all) Evangelicals have such negative feelings towards Mormons. Steve Young was the most qualified QB in the NFL for several years. I never heard anyone complain about him. Romney is the most qualified this year.

      March 8, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • skippy

      95% of non-Mormon Americans have no idea how crazy the Mormon beliefs are. It's the only thing not being vetted during the primary. When it does get vetted during the general election and everyone realizes that they believe Jesus had 3 wives and fathered many children (of which Joseph Smith was a direct descendent), that you get your own planet when you die, and that black people were cursed to be black because they were the 1/3 that didn't side with either Jesus or Lucifer, enough people will be turned off and Mitt won't win a single state. Not one. The GOP establishment will be beside themselves that none of this came out during the primary. The nation will let out a collective, "Mormons believe WHAT???"

      March 8, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Skippy: Nothing you said is true. If you really want to know what Mormon's believe, go to the source: http://www.Mormon.org. Regardless, Mitt's religion is not relevant to his qualifications to be the President.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • skippy

      Then I need to ask for that money back that I spent on my seminary degree . . .

      March 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. B Davis

    Can't wait until every republican votes that black president out of office so that they can take this country right back to where it was almost eight years ago. Thank you Sara Pallin, Rush Limbaugh and everyone that has made a ton of money being ignorant. Thank you.

    March 7, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      Silly post. Republicans are voting for like-minded leaders. Obama has shown that he is in no way conservative... So, republicans and many independents will vote for someone else... regardless of color. Thanks for trying to make this a race issue–fail.

      March 8, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dvet

    He is backed by big oil. Big business. And big corporations so where do you think his loyalties lie. No more repubics they are robbing this country. Greed

    March 8, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Betsy

    It's too bad the Republicans don't get it. The vast majority of Americans wish that Congress would balance the budget, boost the economy and stay out of our bedrooms, bodies and loves. Give us cheap energy not lobbied by oil companies, a flat national sales tax and cut the massive waste in Washington and see how this country blossoms.

    March 8, 2012 at 2:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt

      Many get it. Remember that Obama gave congress his budget and NOBODY approved it in the senate (0 -97). You can blame republicans, but a reasonable person would say that both parties need to put ideology aside and work for the betterment of the country. Focus on what is most important.

      March 8, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joe R.

    I think I will be voting for Romney. I don't agree with Obama on some significant issues, but that doesn't mean I want the next president to be the polar opposite of Obama–he did get a lot right. I don't think that the candidate that is most different from Obama is necessarily the one that Republicans ought to want.

    March 8, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ben holland

      i think u should stop playing the racist card/ it seens to me that u are one of those that doesn,t like the president not because of his policy simplying because of his skin colour.

      March 8, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. lyanna

    Both Santorum and Gingrichs should face the reality and drop for the sake of the Party unity and for the sake of upseating Obama : Be gentlemen!!!

    March 8, 2012 at 2:43 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dave

      Well said!!!

      March 8, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. oilmann

    4 years of FAILED Hope and Change Policies which dont work and keep us in a hell hole is enough for me.

    March 8, 2012 at 4:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dave

      President Obama is a nice guy, but his policies have created unprecedented debt, deficits and unemployment. It is a shame that the media is not calling the facts like they really are.

      March 8, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. all the way to the convention!

    This will go to the convention. Theres now too much animosity against Romney and the deluge of negative adds his side has dished out.

    March 8, 2012 at 5:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • danny

      This is exactly what I have been saying. Romney has out spent Santorum 4-to-1 in negativity and smear campaign

      March 8, 2012 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I keep hearing about Romney's "negative ads". Have you seen them? They are comparative ads. They present Santorum's voting record–a negative record. Santorum and Gingrich created ads that attacked Romney personally. In fact, Santorum's ad with a Romney impersonator shoot mud at a Santorum cut out was a joke.

      Most of the negative statements that I read on these blogs are just parroted talking points from Gingrich and Santorum (about the wealth, perfect hair,...). Most misleading and untrue.

      March 8, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bill

    The GOP had better focus on unseating Obama and select the most electable of that sketchy bunch.....probably Romney. They sure need to quit that birth control/Catholicism/Mormonism stuff, or the divisivness of these peripheral issues will keep things in turmoil right into the convention. Perhaps Paul and Gingrich actually want that opportunity to be heard at the convention for the sake of their "message" (Read:Ego), but getting a GOP president in the white house needs to be their first priority. Those two need to quietly slide out of the picture and let folks decide between Santorum and Romney on their merits.

    March 8, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • SweetOne

      If They can't come up with someone real and don't even recognize Ron Paul, they are asking for Obama to be back in the Whitehouse 4 more years. I will NOT vote for 'change with the wind' Romney and Santorum has nothing to offer. We need truth and honesty in the White House. A balanced budget and people taken at home before we do for other countries needs to happen in our government. IT is NOT the government's job to support us and take full responsibility for us - we need to be responsible for ourselves and anything we bring into the world. WAKE UP and balance the budget – get rid of all the pork and get real about what the government needs and spends. If the Republicans don't find a real – honest person to run, they won't beat Obama...period

      March 8, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • tedt

      If repubes take whitehouse were all doomed look what the bush admin. did to us

      March 8, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Wade

    Looks like the GOP is having a nervous breakdown.

    March 8, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ryan oalko

    ron paul 2012!

    March 8, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. danny

    Romney is fake and a phony I doubt republicans will have much to do with him.

    March 8, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dave

      Romney is a fake? What about Santorum who loves earmarks and who asks Democrats to vote with him in Michigan and Ohio? Santorum also criticizes Romney's success and wealth? Who is the real conservative? Not Santorum!!!

      March 8, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Fake? Have you seen Michelle Obama? Have you followed photo-op-Barak? Clinton? Biden? Pelosi? These kids are the Kardashians in politics.

      March 8, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. fred doerrie

    The rebublican party has turned this election into what equals the easter bunny vs. president obama. that is the best way to describe the republican's failure to produce a viable canidate to make a run for the white house... why enter a turtle into a horse race??

    March 8, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. fred doerrie

    The rebublican party has turned this election into what equals the easter bunny vs. president obama. that is the best way to describe the republican's failure to produce a viable canidate to make a run for the white house... why enter a turtle into a horse race?? The current primary process reminds me of a bad race @ the special olymics !! the race has already been won by president obama before the starting gun has been shot... thank you republican's, maybe you'll learn your lesson by the next election cycle !!

    March 8, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. tedt

    Kick all treasonous republicans out their war on working people needs to be stopped. Vote straight democrat

    March 8, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lizzie

      Only liberals, ivy leaguers need to apply.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Lizzie

      Those who say they will stay home in November and not vote are VOTING FOR Pres.Obama.

      March 8, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
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