Unfortunately for Republicans, it’s looking like what will be thrown into the bubbling GOP Presidential caldron in 2012 will be the will be the Aye! of Newt.
We’ve seen unlikely front runners rise and fall in the GOP version of “Who Wants to Be a Non-Romney?!” but for a variety of reasons, it appears that Newt Gingrich has won the final spin of that wheel and however unlikely it may have seemed or may seem now, Newt seems to be in the strongest position to win the GOP nomination…which would simultaneously put the GOP in the worst position to win the presidency (no sad faces now).
Some may argue, “But what about Romney? He has lots of money, organization, the most support from the GOP Elite, none of that which Newt can claim…how can Romney not be most likely to win?” A legit possibility though allow me to present a list of arguments as to why I believe that Newt should beat out Romney for the honor of getting trounced in the General Election by Obama.
1. The GOP game of Musical Chairs is over.
“I have one Trump, who’ll raise me a Bachmann? I have one Bachmann, who’ll say Perry? I have a Perry, Cain? One Cain! Do I hear a Newt? One Newt! Who’ll offer a Santorum? A Paul? I have one Newt, going…a Huntsman anyone? Going…do I hear Romney? Going…gone! The GOP Front Runner goes to Newt!”
The 2012 Iowa GOP Caucuses will be held on January 3rd, one short month from now. There is scant time for Newt to crash and burn and a different non-Romney to take the lead. All the possible non-Romneys who the Tea Party would support have had their turns and failed miserably. With Herman Cain dropping out at the same time that Newt has been given the communal Chuck E. Cheese’s birthday hat, Newt has been uniquely bolstered as front runner by a shrinking of the field and alternatives for anti-Romney voters. Most of Cain’s voters have jumped over to Newt and his lead over Romney is getting bigger.
Also factor into this that the public is growing more distracted with each passing day as their focus turns to the approach of Xmas and the attendant shopping, vacation plans, parties, school performances, dinners, etc. They won’t be paying as much attention to debates and blunders so where Republican voters are by next week would seem to be pretty close to where they will be right after the holidays…which is exactly when the IA Caucus will be held.
2. Newt Has Been Pre-Disastered.
Borrowing this phrase from John Irving, Newt is less likely to be hurt by gaffes or revelations in the eyes of extremist GOP voters because he has been pre-disastered. At the launch of his campaign, Newt was smacked down for being a greedy, racist, Ryan-Budget-heretic, cheating-on-his-wife, two-faced fraud and liar…more of the same won’t be news to those now supporting him. They don’t care, they are comforted by the warm glow of Newt’s hateful words for Obama, the poor, children, the unemployed and the 99% of Americans. Newt lovers hug themselves in delight that they finally have the nasty, vicious surrogate they’ve wanted to verbally assault Obama in speeches and in person. Such ideologues and haters are past the point of being influenced by Newt’s failings or gaffes or they wouldn’t be supporting him now. And his blatant BS about repenting has worked as designed on the rubes, the more he sins, the more he’ll repent and the more the suckers, as Newt plainly sees them, will love him for it.
3. Mitt Romney Didn’t Play to Win, Just to Not Lose.
The cowardly Strategy that Romney has been employing has finally come back to bite him in the polls (a very painful place to be bitten). Romney’s brilliant plan was, “I’m such an unlikeable phony that people see right through so I’ll be as Right Wing generic as possible in debates, stay out of the spotlight whenever possible and let my fellow loonies blow themselves up by letting them and their idiocy get attention. Then, I’ll win, not because I’m liked but because I’m all that’s left!”
This strategy was proving to be a very effective one as long as there was a distraction away from who Romney really is and a variety of opposing candidates splitting the anti-Romney voters and sharing the spotlight. The Achilles Heel of this strategy is, if Romney ever did get in trouble, he had few voters invested in him emotionally who would support him. So, Romney’s blatantly dishonest commercial (intentionally playing Obama’s words out of context) then his disastrous, dishonest and pissy one-on-one interview on Fox, kicked the game board over.
The reason Cain initially survived the sexual harassment stories and Newt has been able to make a comeback is that, however repugnant they may be to reasoning people, core GOP voters connected with them on a personal basis and liked them. Romney’s strategy by its nature, created a huge emotional gap between him and voters so there was no bond there to counterbalance his coming off as a douche.
And last week, that’s exactly how he came off to GOP voters (let alone the rest of the public) which has left a sour taste for many GOP voters now. The shine was stripped off of Romney last week, it’s hard to imagine people flocking to him now after seeing what he’s really like ( I mean, the guy lied to Fox about not being trustworthy! The double negatives of that are mind boggling).
Romney’s poll numbers have been stagnant since he began running for President in 2003. He maxed out back then, bogged down at around 20% nationally for eight years running and of course lost the nomination in 2004 to McCain because of that. And in 2011/2012, his position with GOP voters is just the same…and possibly getting worse. In recent polls, as Newt has risen, Romney has remarkably begun to decline. He may have money, organization and look like a President from Central Casting (or Comedy Central Casting)…but if the GOP core voters just don’t like him and just won’t vote for him, all the money and organization won’t get him elected in the end…as it didn’t in 2008.
4. The Passion Factor
One word that doesn’t come to mind about Romney supporters is “passion”. Have you ever seen an interview with a Romney supporter at one of his rallies? Have any of them come off with the fervor of a Tea Bagger decrying the word “czar”? Or have they come off as button down types that use them fancy words about why Romney should be President?
The hard right Republicans that are supporting Newt are the wild eyed ones. They’re the ones who go mad on the web as trolls, spam their friends to vote for who they support, pour energy into getting people to vote for their candidate and are rabid about getting into the voting booth.
Newt supporters are the aggressive teabaggers. Romney supporters are the country clubbers. Put them in Thunderdome and which team walks out? The Baggers are the majority of primary voters and the energy and power of the current GOP. The elite represent a small minority of GOP voters…as Romney’s current 18%-20% in the polls and 3rd place ranking in the latest IA polls reflect.
The passion aspect is very critical during the primaries, especially when it comes to caucuses. The passionate attend caucuses which is why Ron Paul does exceptionally well in straw polls and caucuses and explains Newt’s big lead in IA this week.
Also, moderate Romney followers will be less loyal. If Romney looks to be taking a beating, they will be more likely to jump ship than be willing to go down with Romney. Whereas if Newt has a setback, I think his rabid supporters will only redouble their support of him.
Still, it is kind of funny that the Baggers started off as anti-government and were so easily corrupted into supporting the candidate who has spent most of his life being around and a part of government.
5. Newt Can Win Three of the First Four Primaries in January and Gain Momentum.
As of now, there are four primaries/caucuses in January: IA, NH, SC and FL. Of these four, Romney only polls with a lead in NH. Gingrich polls with a lead in IA, SC and FL. Considering the rabid right wing electorate in IA, SC and FL, Romney doesn’t seem likely to beat out Newt in any of these. Winning the first three out of four primaries will give Newt’s candidacy enormous momentum and Romney’s sole strength of inevitability will be destroyed. As detailed below with FL, Newt’s leads over Romney right now are huge. If the margin of victory is even somewhat close to current polls, it will be devastating to Romney and rocket fuel to Newt’s numbers in upcoming primaries.
And consider this, what if Romney wins NH but by a small margin. It would be as bad as losing, he would be severely wounded byt that and with Huntsman doing better there and Newt rising, it’s a viable possibility. If Newt wins 3 primaries decisively and Romney wins NH marginally, he could be on the ropes that quickly.
6. Romney Can’t Win The Numbers Game By Losing the South to Gingrich.
This year, instead of what has been a winner-take-all, the GOP primaries will have proportionate winning of delegates in each state. This means that the states with bigger populations that swing with wider margins for a candidate will make the biggest difference.
Now, it is no secret that as a Northeastern Moderate and Mormon who was pro-choice, pro-gay rights and is responsible for the basis of the hated socialist conspiracy, “Obamacare”, Romney is not liked or trusted by the strong RW Evangelical base of the GOP despite his flip-flopping to claim he’s one of them. They know he’s not.
A Romney vs. Newt contest, with Newt being Southern and having a more accepted claim of being far right, would appear to hand Newt the entire South as well as the Bible Belt. And the margins could be huge (the latest Florida Times-Union poll has Newt with 41% in FL and Mitt with only 17%!).
Based on that, here is a grouping of states (thanks and props to Wikipedia) that could reasonably be projected at this point in time for each candidate. This far out from many of these primaries, with so much that could happen along the way, the proposed breakdown below is admittedly speculative. With that said, here we go (states are listed by number of delegates):
STATES FAVORABLE FOR NEWT GINGRICH TO WIN
(One note about TX, Rick Perry may very well be in the race in March so his presence may carve out many delegates from the total available but it is listed as Newt’s win because he is still likely to receive more delegates than Romney.)
STATES FAVORABLE FOR MITT ROMNEY TO WIN
TOSS UPS AND NOT ENOUGH KNOWN TO PROJECT
|To be announced||Puerto Rico||caucus||23|
|To be announced||Guam||caucus||9|
|10-Mar-12||U.S. Virgin Islands||caucus||9|
|To be announced||Northern Mariana Islands||caucus||9|
|To be announced||American Samoa||caucus||9|
Newt is projected in this proposition to win in 27 states with 1174 delegates.
Romney is projected to win in 17 states with 640 delegates.
No call is made on the remaining 11 states and territories with 428 delegates.
Since the GOP Primary is no longer winner-take-all, the math would not seem to provide for Romney to have a real shot at beating Newt through the toss up states. For example, the latest CA poll shows Romney and Gingrich in a virtual tie, 26% for Romney to 23% for Gingrich with Gingrich rising and Romney stagnant (as usual). CA’s primary isn’t until June, by then Bachmann, Perry and Santorum will be out and their voters will go mostly to Newt. Even so, if we were generous and just called it a split between them, that would make CA a wash and leave only 256 delegates remaining available.
With Newt winning a majority of delegates in states with nearly double the amount of delegates than the Romney’s states would have, the remaining unassigned states and territories would seem to have far too few delegates for Romney to overcome Newt’s lead. Another factor will be the margin of the win in each state (and thus a greater difference in delegates) and what’s proposed here is that Mitt’s wins, aside from a few states like MA and MI, may be much closer than Newt’s wins in Southern and very religious, conservative states.
So not only does Newt have a far greater number of delegates in the states he is projected herein to win but having a greater potential to win by big margins could give him an insurmountable advantage.
As mentioned above, many events could unfold in the weeks and months ahead that turn this scenario into an interesting but misguided exercise but if Romney and Gingrich remain in the general vicinity of where they are now, as the two main candidates who will have a showdown and if no massive bombshell intercedes between now and January, I think this scenario could indeed unfold as described.
Which would provide to Obama, the Democratic Party and 99% of Americans a giant collective sigh of relief and justifiable confidence that they will prevail by substantial margins in 2012.
After all, Obama running against the most obnoxious, vicious, racist, egomaniacal, elitist, child labor loving, Medicare and Social Security hating, adulterous, lobbyist career politician that the GOP could put up…sure works for me.