Mitt Romney gingerly distanced himself from a labor issue on the Ohio ballot one day. The next, he embraced the initiative “110 percent.”
Candidates visiting Nevada often wade into the debate about where nuclear waste should go. They’re pressed in South Carolina to take a stand on an aircraft maker’s labor dispute. In New Hampshire, they face questions about right-to-work issues. And then there are the perennials, such as ethanol subsidies in Iowa and the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina.
As Romney proved this week, such local issues can trip up even the most cautious candidate, causing headaches for their national campaigns while hurting their standings in important states for both the primary and general elections.