Lyons: effect of Tea Party waning

As expected, Mitt Romney was a double-digit winner in New Hampshire followed by Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman. Primary exit polling shows Romney appealed widely to voters as the GOP’s best hope to defeat President Barack Obama.Utah State University Political Science department chairman Mike Lyons says he suspects Ron Paul got a lot of support from the Tea Party people. On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Tuesday, Lyons said that vote is still significant but it’s been waning.”The fact that Mitt Romney is almost certain to receive the Republican Party nomination is evidence in support of that assertion,” Lyons said. “The Tea Party clearly has not embraced Mitt Romney. “They have turned to alternative after alternative only to be disappointed by Rick Perry’s debate performances and Michelle Bachman’s bizarre statements on a variety of subjects and most recently Newt Gingrich and his background as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C.”Lyons said he thinks Jon Huntsman would have an even better chance of defeating Obama but the Tea Party and Republican conservatives are unlikely to support him because they say he is too moderate.Meanwhile, Lyons said that if Romney becomes the eventual Republican nominee it could spell real danger for Democrats in Utah. Congressman Jim Matheson has been described by Lyons as “an extremely popular Democrat in Republican-dominated Utah.”Lyons said Matheson would have been a forbidabe candidate if he had chosen to run against Republican Governor Gary Herbert. But he says there is a danger for any Democrat running for office in 2012.”That is the affect of Mitt Romney at the head of the ticket,” Lyons said. “Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential nominee, which is virtually certain, is going to bring out Utah Republicans in nearly record or record numbers.”Lyons said this probably won’t be a great year for Democrats anywhere in the nation but with Mitt Romney at the top of the Republican ticket it would be very problematic.

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