The four remaining contenders for the GOP nomination are not a commanding bunch. No matter how often the voters attempt to skew the view or inject their singular perception of their choices with something desirable or admirable, none of them measure up. Whether they fail in viability or inevitability or electability, none of these candidates have coalesced the the social, fiscal, national factions of the Republican Party. Neither have they appealed to swing voters in the general election.
Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has the most consistent resume for social conservatives, but his big support of Big Government has raised questions about his resolve to face profligate economic dangers that are threatening this country. The South Bay is well known for its fiscal conservatism, not so much its allegiance to faith and family values.
Ron Paul is the most ardent of fiscal conservatives, the only Presidential candidate who has offered a suitable and substantial plan to reign in government spending. However, his marginal views on foreign policy, aside from the the grand retrenchment of American Armed Forces from over one hundred different countries, have alienated many. Open dealings and free trade will not transform Iran from a hostile state to a national player, and Paul's position has disturbed many. His views on national defense, although welcome and respected by those who want to end the wars, would devastate defense contracts in the region. His opposition to federal investment in aerospace may also deal a heavy blow to the industry, now heavily entrenched in Southern California.
Newt Gingrich is too much of everything. His big personality may not be big enough to dissuade Southern California voters from his big problems: He is loud to the point of brash. He is knowledgeable to the point of cashing in on his insider status before and after his stint in national politics. He has a celebrated resume, marred by a disgraceful exit from power and a tumultuous personal life. He has bold ideas, but a blunt and broken character, both unstable and uneasy with GOP establishment and committed conservative voters.
Mitt Romney has been the Establishment, though hardly established, favorite. More than seventy percent of eligible primary voters want someone else to run, including GOP voters in the Golden State. He remains the proud sponsor of a medical insurance mandate which has failed his adopted New England state. ObamaCare is far more popular to California voters. Perhaps non-committed voters, who will be voting for the first time since California voters approved open primaries, will help tilt this state in Romney's favor, a stark contrast to his stunning loss in 2008 to Arizona Senator John McCain.
With divisive victories in three previous caucuses vaulting Rick Santorum closer to front-runner status, the GOP primary fight looks as if it will extend indefinitely. California will be awarding a sizable number of delegates to the process. The voters in this state, and the Southern California region in particular, may end up splintering the delegate allocation so severely, that Golden state voters -- from all parties, no less -- will not only influence the sweep of the GOP nomination, but may in fact become the catalyst for force a brokered convention in Tampa: the first in over seventy years for the Republican party.