Media accounts are flush with descriptions of the difficult electoral problems the Romney-Ryan ticket faces: It needs to win Ohio and most of the other toss-up states. But there's a deeper problem: It needs to win over people who depend on the obese federal government that Republicans would like to put on a diet.
The World Socialist Web Site recently crooned a happy tune for those on the left: Some 49 percent of Americans live in households that received government benefits during the first quarter of 2011. Ronald Reagan had an uphill battle to the White House in 1980, when the figure was 30 percent. Even in 2008 the figure was only 44 percent.
Farsighted folks who receive government money know it won't be there down the road unless we get entitlements under control. But most people are nearsighted, and nearsighted dependents on government are likely to vote for President Obama. That means Mitt Romney needs to win an overwhelming majority of those not dependent.
Since the vast majority of middle-class blacks will vote for Obama, and a majority of middle-class Hispanics will as well, the Romney-Ryan task becomes even harder.
The key problem for the GOP, though, is neither its stumbles with minorities nor the Electoral College. It's this: Both candidates have lots of self-interested backers, but the Democrats have more of them.