Oftentimes, a 500-mile auto race is decided in the last couple of miles, sometimes the last lap. The first 495 miles are a survival-of-the-fittest endurance test of mechanical genius, unbelievable driver skill and concentration, masterful pit crew logistics that are measured in seconds, and luck - lots of luck.
The last five miles is when all the stops are pulled out, the pedal mashed to the metal, cars and drivers pushed to the edge of their breaking points. Car owners, crew chiefs and pit crews can do nothing but watch, cringe, cheer and hope at this point.
In the GOP presidential race, Mitt Romney is currently ahead of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul by a couple of hundred delegates.
Some mathematically argue that Mitt Romney, who I endorse, cannot be caught at this point, that his delegate lead is insurmountable.
Mathematically insurmountable lead or not, the race goes on with contenders such as Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Paul with few delegates and even less gas in the tank.
Mr. Santorum is doing his best to make it a photo finish, turning the GOP convention into a brokered convention where the nominee will be selected in a delegate donnybrook.
Pundits are trying to convince the GOP faithful that this long race is weakening the GOP, that the party will not coalesce in time to launch a united campaign against President Obama. Don’t buy that spin.
It was just a couple of years ago Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and then-Sen. Barack Obama had locked political horns. Their race was heated, passionate and contentious. It wasn’t until June of 2008 before Mrs. Clinton cried “no mas” and ceded the nomination to Mr. Obama.
Hillary supporters instantly united behind Mr. Obama. That’s what political parties do: Unite behind their candidate.
The GOP will also unite. The party will not self-destruct as many on the left are hoping. That won’t happen.
The GOP knows this is a critical election, possibly the most important election in more than a century, the most critical, I believe, in my lifetime. Conservative voters won’t stay home because they don’t like the GOP candidate.
Rank-and-file Republicans and independents in restaurants, gas stations, gun stores, etc., are champing at the political bit to vote for anyone to ensure Mr. Obama is tossed out of office. Their strong distrust of the president has got the GOP and conservative base fired up and ready to unite like never before.
In addition to anxiously awaiting to vote for the GOP candidate for president, Republicans are also tremendously excited about the opportunity to take over the Senate and keep the House, making it a clean GOP sweep.
The GOP faithful know the outcome of the election will chart a course for the country: a long, slow return to fiscal sanity and limited federal government or an all-out press for a European form of socialism that, by the way, has failed and is failing all across Europe and everywhere else it has been tried.
In the meantime, let the GOP race for president continue. That’s what primaries are for. At the end of the race, know that the party will unite into a strong, committed team with a singular goal: elect their candidate.
Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).