The selection of Paul Ryan as the VP nominee epitomizes the problem of the Romney 2012 campaign. Romney has been running to the right since the primaries began, yet has failed to convince the electorate that he is not a “Massachusetts Moderate.” Regardless, he won the GOP nomination. This August, Romney has made the judgment that appealing to the far right is more important to his electoral chances than attracting the undecided voters.
On one hand, the polls are showing a smaller undecided vote than at this time in previous elections, so this decision might be wise. But I think this is an extremely flawed choice, as Romney’s ‘run to the right’ will likely hurt him with many of the demographics that he must win in order to win the White House. For instance, the deep Medicare cuts that are central to the Romney-Ryan Budget are extremely unpopular in Florida, a state he must carry in order to win the election. Romney may galvanize the right by picking Ryan, but he will lose voters that previously supported him. Romney is the victim of a deeply polarized GOP, but moderates win elections, not hard-right conservatives.