Recent polls in two crucial primary states--Iowa and New Hampshire--show that Mitt Romney has leapfrogged John McCain and Rudy Giuliani to claim momentum in the race for the Republican nomination for president.
The latest Des Moines Register poll shows Romney with 30 percent support, a 12-point lead over his nearest competitor in Iowa, McCain. Even better, Romney's internal polling has him running 17 points ahead of the competition in the Hawkeye State. A Zogby poll of New Hampshire voters offers similar results: Romney leads with 35 percent while McCain and Giuliani tie for second with 19 percent.
This surge of support for Romney comes as no surprise to those of us supporting the former Governor of Massachusetts. In fact, I predicted back in October that once voters got to know Romney they would like him very much. And so they do. The question now is, why?
I believe voters are attracted to Romney because of his three-part vision for America, one that seeks to build and maintain a strong national defense, a strong economy, and strong families.
Romney believes that peace comes through strength. In a recent Foreign Affairs article he called for adding 100,000 troops to our armed forces and for sizeable investments in military equipment, capabilities, and preparedness. To support these goals, Romney has said the next president should commit at least four percent of gross domestic product to national defense.
Romney has an adroit understanding of the threat posed by radical Islam. He recognizes that Iraq is but a part of a larger battle against Islamists that includes Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia and many other places. "Jihad is the greatest threat that faces humanity," Romney said in a speech earlier this year. "It cannot be appeased. It can only be defeated."
Like Winston Churchill with Nazism and Ronald Reagan with Communism, our next president must understand and confront radical Islam. Romney has proven that he has the moral clarity to do so. In 2006, for example, Romney refused to provide a state security detail for Mohammed Khatami when the former Iranian president delivered a speech at Harvard. "There are people [in Massachusetts] who have suffered from terrorism, and taking even a dollar of their money to support a terrorist is unacceptable," Romney told the Boston Globe at the time.
Doug Wilson is the the co-author, with Edwin Feulner, of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today.
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