Analyst talks about Romney win, challenges

From News 10 - March 7, 2012

SACRAMENTO, CA - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's win in the battleground state of Ohio is a critical turning point, according to political analyst Doug Elmets.

"This win was absolutely essential for him," Elmets said. "And it's all really a matter of delegates and he's (Romney) pulling away now from the competition in terms of delegates."

Elmets, who worked in the Reagan White House and has been a staffer on several Republican presidential campaigns said Romney has seen a watershed moment, but still faces a battle for the nomination.

"His challenge is having a really difficult time winning in the South and that is going to continue to be a problem as we move forward throughout the campaign," Elmets said.

Elmets said Romney must eventually pivot from trying to capture Republican voters on the right side of the party to appealing to more moderate voters.

"No question about it. The people that come out in a Republican primary are the people that are on the right, the activists," Elmets said. "In the general election, you've got to appeal to a much broader coalition. He's going to have to appeal to Independents, he's going to have to appeal to some Democrats and he's going to have to appeal to some moderates - people that are in his base. So he's got a big road to hoe."

Elmets said the long and primary battle is taking funds Romney would need in an upcoming battle with President Obama.

"I really do think that it gives Barack Obama so much more ammunition and it really begins to chew away at the valuable dollars that can be spent in a general election, just battling away with the people in your own party," Romney said.

But Elmets said recent key endorsements from the Republican establishment are helping give Romney a boost.

"You see that the Republican party is beginning to coalesce around Romney," Elmets said. "It is mathematically very, very difficult for Santorum and Gingrich really to pull this off."

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