March 7th, 2012
01:58 PM ET

Overheard on Will GOP voters accept Romney? Does it matter?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on 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 moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "On The Lunatic Fringe"

    Will GOP voters accept Romney? Does it matter?
    The GOP knows, as well as the rest of voting America knows, if Romney can show and demonstrate to the GOP voters, that he is "more than qualified" and go "beyond the expectations" of "all of voting America", the GOP voters shouldn't have a problem with him.
    And yes..this does matter. We do not have till November to quibble over minor details, mud slinging, back stabbing from anywhere. But it matters to have someone that will "move America forward", in autonomy, and fiscal responsibility.

    March 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Carl

    The religous nuts need to form thier own obsure party so the real republicans can get back to fiscal responsibility.

    March 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • lyanna

      I totally agree!......Religious Nutt Party!

      March 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ruemorgue

      The Butt Party!

      March 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Carl

    The religious nuts need to form their own obscure party so the real republicans can get back to fiscal responsibility.
    (spell corrected!)

    March 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    I don't think it's going to be so much the GOP voters, as it will be the idepenents. Loyalty to a party is one thing, but there are a whole lot others who will see it differently.

    March 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dreamer96

    The voter turn out for the GOP has been very poor to be kind...10% turn out may win a primary...but not on the national level..

    March 7, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dazzle ©

    It matters NOT to this Independent voter. I can't relate to Romney on any level.

    March 7, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    @ dazzle
    I agree with you 100%. These candidates are completely out of touch these days.

    March 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    As an independent voter, I have seen not one thing in Romney that makes me feel that he is qualified to do anything more than be a good spokesperson for hair products.
    He hasn't shown that he is fiscally more responsible than any other candidate.
    He hasn't impressed me at all.
    I'll keep looking.

    March 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Crystal

    I'm an unaffiliated voter and I think Romney is a great candidate. We haven't seen a candidate with this good of a resume in a long time and he's not too far to the right. I don't understand why people think he is "unrelatable". He's made a lot of money.... so what? That should be a good thing. That should be a GREAT thing. He earned the money by working hard and using good common sense in business not by writing a bunch of books about himself. We don't need another author for president, we need someone with good old fashion know how! Why are we basing our votes on whether or not we think we "relate"with a candidate instead of their qualifications? Are we that short-sighted? These candidates aren't American Idol contestants, they are applying for the most important and serious job in the world and we should treat their job interview accordingly.

    March 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff

    Sure I can accept Mitt, American is about accepting others, but I will not accept Mitt for president, if GOP nominates him, I will vote Democrat for the first time in my 50+ year life!!!!!!!!!!

    March 7, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • latina

      Go right ahead but this former Democrat Latina will accept Mitt. Voting Mitt all the way 2012..

      March 7, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. latina

    I am an American first and this Latina will accept Romney. Yea, Romney. I will never again vote for a idiot unqualified
    Democrat president that is in office now. This president has shown his true colors that of a "SOCIALIST DICTATOR".
    VOTE HIS BUTT OUT OF OFFICE 2012 are this country is in real trouble. Romeny all the way. Can't wait for November 2012 to get here.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan5404

      Not a chance. He was unopposed in Ohio, so no one really even needed io vote, but Democrats turned out anyway and voted abour 100,000 more than Romney got. Sounds like Ohio GOP has is work cut out.

      March 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. happy


    March 7, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ruemorgue

    The Republican candidates: "Walter Mitty" Romney, dreams of being a Conservative; Newt Grinch, serves divorce papers to his sick wife who's recovering from cancer; "Religious Nut" Santorum who belongs in a Sanitarium; and last, Dr. RiP, the operation (cut everything) was a success. but the patient (USA) DIED.

    March 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. patrick

    here comes the republican again talking about how they care about this great country of ours. if my memory is still in tact lets see. bill clinton & the demorcrat work so hard to give this country a balance budget & a surplus economy & it took a fiscal consertive republican party to set back this country years & years behind, now they are acting as if the defict & the well being of this country is holy grail to them. WILL AMERICAN BE FOOL AGAIN????????

    March 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. leeintulsa

    @crystal: all he's shown is he can make himself money, regardless of what happens to his project. he'd get richer in the white house, but no telling which way the country would go..

    March 7, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
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