There was a time that I lumped Mitt Romney in with the also rans in the Republican Primary, because I thought that he shot himself in the foot with his “I am my own Mormon” speech. It seems to me that it was no coincidence that Huckabee started to surge right around the same time.
Now I guess that we’ll see if Tom Tancredo can give Mitt a big enough boost to get him over the finish line:
“At this point in time, (Romney) is the best hope for our cause,” Tancredo said during a news conference in downtown Des Moines.
The cause that vaulted the Colorado congressman into the race, “illegal immigration,” also motivated him to abandon his pursuit of the nomination, Tancredo said.
His continued presence in an election he could not win, he said, may have helped the campaigns of Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. John McCain, candidates Tancredo says are soft on immigration.
Dianne Bystrom, an Iowa State University political science professor, said Tancredo’s exit and endorsement of Romney could shake up the volatile Republican field.
“Tancredo throwing his support behind Romney comes at a key time when Romney is trying to fight off the surge of Mike Huckabee,” she said. “For Romney, it probably couldn?t have come at a better time.”
Several polls show Romney and Huckabee in a tight race for frontrunner status in Iowa leading up to the Jan. 3 caucuses.
So now we have Tancredo’s 1% to add to Mitt’s dropping poll numbers but it seems reasonable to conclude that the illegal immigration issue is just not going to have the kind of traction this time around that once seemed possible. Or maybe there’s another reason for the Tancredo white flag.