Rick Perry is out with a new ad that does a pretty good job of hitting Mitt Romney on his Massachusetts health care record. This makes it very clear that RomneyCare was the model for ObamaCare — a point which one might have assumed would be lethal.
But I’m not sure.
Romney seems to have hit a ceiling of about 25 percent in the polls. These are folks who presumably either don’t care about — or have forgiven him — for RomneyCare. Presumably, his past political peccadilloes prevent him from garnering much more primary support than that — at least, unless or until this becomes a binary decision. As such, Romney wins the nomination — not by winning new converts (though he would obviously like to) — but by dividing his enemies.
If Perry and Cain and Bachmann divvy up the anti-Romney vote, Romney can win. And so, while Perry’s new ad is effective in terms of raising concerns about Romney, Perry’s success will ultimately depend on convincing people who are already part of the conservative, anti-Romney bloc to galvanize behind him.
The upcoming GOP debate will be a major test for Perry.