If Delaware Republicans looking to make the leap to statewide office were hoping that Mitt Romney would help their chances, those hopes have been squashed by possibly the worst three weeks ever seen on the campaign trail.
Following a mediocre convention where the Republican Presidential nominee was upstaged by an empty chair, Romney has been called out for politicizing an attack on an embassy that killed four Americans and was caught calling nearly half of the population “lazy” and “entitled.” Ouch! It’s too soon to tell, and we still have three debates for Romney to recover, but he runs the risk of having a greater effect on turnout among Republicans than even Christine O’Donnell (who is apparently mulling a 2016 comeback. Sigh). Republicans here already faced an uphill battle on election day. Delaware is a solid blue state, and all the political star power currently rests with the Democrats – Jack Markell, Tom Carper, Barack Obama. How many of your friends know who Tom Kovach is, or have ever heard the name Kevin Wade? They may be serious candidates with good ideas, but without a big name or inspiring figure to turnout the vote, their chances seem slim to none without any help coming from the top of the ticket. Think about it – when Mitt Romney’s ineptness as a candidate can overshadow the extreme anti-Obama vitriol in parts of Sussex County, you know your party has a problem. Blame it on Christine O’Donnell. Blame it on a weak GOP bench in the state. Blame it on Chris Christie for not running for President. But be certain, the only votes Mitt Romney are going to help turn out this year are Democrats. —– Rob Tornoe is a political cartoonist and a WHYY contributor. See more of his work at RobTornoe.com, and follow him on twitter @RobTornoe.