POLITICS

His Original Sin

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2012 file photo Republican presidential candidates former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum counters fo
FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2012 file photo Republican presidential candidates former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum counters former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, during the South Carolina Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Remember Newt Gingrich calling Romney a liar? Michele Bachmann saying Romney's unelectable? Santorum calling Romney "the worst Republican in the country" to run against Obama? They're hoping you don't. And acting like it never happened _ even though most of their words are just clicks away online. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

If Mitt Romney loses in November, the primary cause won’t be the tactical missteps and backbiting that Politico chronicled, or even the past two weeks’ rapid-fire controversies. The much larger problem will be fundamental strategic choices the candidate made during the Republican primary, including several that placed him in conflict with long-term demographic trends reshaping the electorate.

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