Conventional wisdom holds that the Rick Santorum surge in the national polls resulted from a confluence of his wins in a batch of non-binding caucuses, his strong performance in the sweater-vest portion of the Missouri beauty primary and the relatively little time other candidates have spent attacking him.
But with apologies to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, I'm pretty sure we're just entering the bargaining phase of The Five Stages of Coping with Mitt Romney as Your Nominee. Consider…
Denial: We feel fine. Any moment now Rick Perry is going to ride in on his steed of Texas conservatism and twangy populism. We're not saying Ben Bernanke is going to get lynched, but the man had better have a go-bag ready. But then came the debates, and Brokeback Mountain jacket-gate, and I forgot the third thing, but all of a sudden Rick Perry knew how to quit us.
Anger: Yes, Newt Gingrich is a poorly-edited Wikipedia page living inside a fat baby's body, but he says mean things about Barack Hussein Obama! Food stamp president! Tired teleprompter joke! Child janitors. Moon colony…
Bargaining: Okay, we know Mitt Romney has the most money and establishment support. But we have iPhones older than his conservative beliefs. At this point, we'll do anything. Like, put Rick Santorum in first-place-in-national-polls-anything. Just, please God, not Mittens.
Depression: Via Public Policy Polling…
Our last national survey for Daily Kos found that 58% of Democrats were 'very excited' about voting this fall, compared to 54% of Republicans. Six months ago the figures were 48% of Democrats 'very excited' and Republicans at the same 54%. Generally you would expect voters to get more excited as the election gets nearer. That trend is occurring on the Democratic side, but not for the GOP.
Acceptance: Coming in August, 2012 to Tampa, Florida.
(Modified image via Real Clear Politics)
Tags: Conservatives, Mitt Romney, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Santorum