Saturday, January 28, 2012

GOP 2012 National - Gingrich Leads, Florida- Romney plus 9, 32% May Change Mind – Romney’s Help from Washington Guard, False Attacks Helping Gingrich.

With latest Polling in FL - 34% subject to changing mind - Anyone's Guess as to the outcome on the 31st - image: skydandingblog

The latest national Gallup polling taken over a rolling period of January 22 -26 shows Newt Gingrich leading Romney by 32 to 24% - with Santorum and Paul Tied at approximately 15 percent each. The latest Florida polling out of Quinnipiac University shows Romney with a 9 point advantage, but – the kicker, 32% may change their mind, and 6% are undecided – welcome to Iowa and South Carolina.

In both instances Romney had been the favorite, only to squeak out a loss in Iowa to Rick Santorum and to get hammered in South Carolina by Newt Gingrich. To date it has been a 4 man race, although Ron Paul has yet to pick up a state “win” – he is picking up delegates in proportional states (Real Clear Politics), with only 4 states weighing in (including Florida) – there’s a long road ahead for the four candidates, and one cannot anticipate any of them dropping out of the race, especially with remaining primaries offering 24 proportional primary/caucuses, rather than “winner” take all delegates. This will allow the primary to play out beyond the usual Beltway’s dream of hurrying up and choosing an nominee – a tactic that did not work out so well in the 2008 election.

The concerted attack on Gingrich by the Old Guard, in support of Mitt Romney’s campaign, has done more damage to Romney than anticipated. The claims have proven to be false, and some, such as Tom Delay, is a former Speaker who left the Speakership with a moniker of “Toxic” (The Sacramento Bee). He has come out “against” Newt Gingrich, along with Bob Dole, former Presidential candidate, and a host of Washington Insiders – the barrage began with headline after headline on the The Drudge Report leading some to believe that Matt Drudge's news aggregate is in “in the tank” for the Republican Old Guard.

Of course, it took only twenty four hours for the facts to come out, noting that the claims made against Gingrich were just a wee bit false. Not unlike Romney’s ad, running in Florida in Spanish, which in Saturday’s Debate, he claimed no knowledge, until the moderator, Wolf Blitzer of CNN played the ad, where it clearly states Romney’s approval. This resulted with the usual Egg on the Face of Romney.

Gingrich, for his part, has been hammered incessantly for everything imaginable by Romney (sans the kitchen sink, but you can be that’s next) and the appearance is – desperation. No matter how one spins it, that’s the way it is playing out nationwide. Gingrich on the other hand, embraces his grandiose themes, and has solid Conservative Credentials that can be proven. He’s not alone on that stage, given his protégé, Rick Santorum’s outstanding performance in the last Florida debate.

Although there are only 3 days left before the Florida contest, with media nationwide (through a January 27th AP release) touting Republican Insiders Rise Up to Cut Newt Gingrich Down to Sizes, the article closes with those rank and file Republican’s choosing Gingrich as they “refused to be bullied” by Washington (The Herald).

What about the Florida debate performances? True, both Romney and Gingrich, from this perspective had back to back horrid debate nights, allowing Santorum to capitalize and win the debates. That said, Gingrich, who was attempting to be “dignified” (interview Fox Greta Van Susteren), came off as somewhat flabbergasted, while Romney hammered home his right to be successful – and specifically centered around the fact that both men had mutual funds which contained stock in the much maligned Freddie Mac and Fannie May. What Gingrich might had pointed out instead was the fact that Romney is surrounded by lobbyists for the same firm - (Daily Caller) which would have been, in this opinion, just as damning for Romney as his help from the Washington Insiders.

That aside, it’s anyone’s ballgame in Florida, and should those 34% of undecideds (or more accurately those who might change their minds) change them for Gingrich or Santorum, Romney may end up third, or second, to a Gingrich or Santorum win – the state, a “winner take all” will award the 50 delegates to the winner, even if it is by one vote.
From there it is off to Nevada, where Washington Logic dictates that Romney will handily win – however, again, that logic so far has won him New Hampshire only, and that is using the same scorched earth campaign tactics- a one out of three record, is not exactly the road to the White House.

The next debate is scheduled for February 26th on CNN, followed by the March debates prior to Super Tuesday: one in GA on the 1st (CNN), and one on the 5th (NBC) at the Reagan Library.

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