In reviewing the most recent poll numbers in SC at Real Clear Politics Gingrich is fast on the heels of Mitt Romney, and from the pollsters results, one can find that the race is shaping up similarly to the Iowa Caucus where one finds poll numbers erratic, and Romney, Gingrich and Ron Paul leading the pack – all within a variety of margins of error (depending upon the pollsters marginal’s. In addition polling taken in recent days finds that 8 to 20% of those polled are still uncertain as to which candidate for whom they will vote. The polls thus far, are only as good as those taken a day or two prior to the primary, as anything else that has been released is akin to reading tea leaves!
How important is South Caroline in a win, even if it is by say 7 votes? It is of supreme import as the Palmetto state has accurately “predicted” through their primary winner, the eventual winner of the GOP nominee for the past few decades. A win in South Carolina from a psychological point for a campaign, can be extremely meaningful, it is not that a photo finish will mean a hill of beans, but a wider margin of 2 to 6 points between the two front runners, will be the tell-tale sign of either rejection or acceptance going forward into Florida, Nevada and the Super Tuesday. Gingrich has a firm grasp on the south, and is polling well; he polls well across all demographics in most polls, with two other that are considered to be pulling votes from the same “well”, one Rick Santorum and one Rick Perry. Should either one of those drop out of the S.C. race (which is, at this point, unlikely), those votes are assumed to go to Newt Gingrich, however, should their leads diminish over the next few days (given two debates, one tonight the16th on Fox news and one on CNN on the 19th (best debate arena to date, hands down goes to CNN), then any points lost may be evenly split between Gingrich and Romney – those voting for Santorum most likely to go to Romney (who if he does end his campaign, would, in all likelihood, endorse Romney as the RNC choice). Should Texas Governor Rick Perry end his campaign, the split may be even, although the later two, along with Gingrich, allegedly have the same “base”. That said, with 8 to 20% undecided – and Gingrich within the margin of error in most polling with Romney (i.e. statistical tie), then should those undecided’s break for Gingrich, he would have a clear advantage, with or without Perry and Santorum in the race. Ron Paul should remain at his current level in SC which is at approx. 14 to 18 % of the vote.
The media influence.
With all the railing against the Mainstream Media choosing a candidate and stumping for one over another, namely Barack Obama, by the likes of Andrew Breitbart and Matt Drudge (and name a pundit, especially on Fox News) it appears they have taken the same low road when it comes to anyone who get’s within striking distance of Mitt Romney. Gingrich, to the Republicans, represents someone who will end the status quo, a man who has a past, a man whose past indicates he will work for against both parties, to push legislation that is Conservative in nature without abandoning his Conservative principles. Gingrich, who worked with President Reagan and then President Clinton, has angered more on the right, perhaps than the left, for getting things done. To Mitt Romney’s credit, he did work with the Massachusetts legislature, but handed them almost everything they requested – the excuse: “I was outnumbered.” So why is Mitt Romney being pushed so hard by everyone from Charles Krauthammer to Ann Coulter (who has yet to pick a nominee that would win)? How much are these pundits of the Beltway vested in Politics as Usual?
For example; a recent headline on the Drudge Report, touted, “FLASH: Newt Booed At Huckabee Forum Over Romney Attacks... *” (see Screenshot), which led to this link on http://tv.breitbart.cm/newt-booed-by-sounth-carolina-crowd-for-bain-attacks” with video.
Those watching the Huckabee Forum with each candidate answering questions from a SC audience, never saw any such booing taking place, and when one reviews the video, which is short in length, one notices perhaps a 5 second grumbling, the question was not as implied, regarding Bain, rather it was regarding Newt Gingrich’s views on Capitalism and he explained it quite well. The grumbling, which again, was minor (see video) started when he mentioned Mitt Romney’s claim of creating jobs, and ended abruptly as he was reminded of the rules by Huckabee (apparently no attacks on other candidates). This was not an attack rather a contrast, and by way of example – Gingrich quickly changed tactics, the grumbling had long stopped and went on to give an outstanding answer which applause given was cut off on this short video.
Screenshot of Drudge Headline: links to: video below
The problem with rushing a candidate though without vetting (and that is exactly what is happening here with Mitt Romney), is one is going to end up with either another McCain and or Barack Obama. It is clear that the left is in the “tank” for Mitt Romney, which should tell the right that there is something out there that may be problematic.
They should also be aware that Newt Gingrich most likely knows what that problem(s) may be – given the fact he has visited Massachusetts more than Romney and given the fact that Romney eradicated his email records, and then was angered by the Secretary of State, Galvin’s decision to release hard copy documents. If Romney is concerned about these documents, it follows that there may be something there that most likely runs contrary to his current “Conservative” message – he was most concerned that the Obama campaign have access, however, it is possible that other GOP campaigns have gained access to these records as well.
Again, although Romney had his staff dumped email records of his term in office, (called highly unusual by all GOP Gubernatorial predecessors) the hard copy remained:
Boston Globe December 6th, 2011
An Associated Press examination of much of the available Romney archives holdings earlier this year suggested the material available then was far from comprehensive. More than 75 cartons reviewed by the AP included staff and legislative documents but no internal records written to or from Romney himself -- except for ceremonial bill-signing and official letters.
News organizations have pressed to view the archived Romney files. Also, the Democratic National Committee recently submitted three open-records requests to current Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, seeking to learn more background about the Romney administration's purge of emails and other electronic records.
Romney's campaign, meanwhile, has asked Patrick's office for any evidence of collusions between his staff and Obama re-election officials.
This is a candidate of choice? He may be, but without a fair process, (i.e. slanted news stories regarding other candidates and the constant drumbeat that Romney is the only one who can win against Obama (without, by the way, any statistics that suggest he is that capable), it will be up to those voting in the Republican Primary, including independents, who will make that decision – the innuendo’s and false claims from headlines prove that the vast right wing conspiracy is nothing more than an RNC front.
Now there are 5 major candidates left to debate and follow through with the process, with the likelihood of there being 3 or 4 after the Carolina's: Romney, Gingrich, Paul, Santorum and Perry. One might look for an additional announcement prior to the S.C. primary of a suspension of a campaign. It is unlikely at this point, however, it has been rumored, not confirmed.
It remains to be seen if the right media will go to the lengths that he left media did vis a vis Romney and Obama – but it is likely: See Right Leaning Mediaite: headline: “Chris Wallace Confronts Pro-Gingrich Super PAC Spokesman About Gingriches Ties to Equity Firm” more of the same type of inflammatory headlines, and little substance in the actual article, other than additional right centered media making assertions. It is interesting to watch this play out, and to understand that there is little difference between FOX and MSNBC other than ratings. What is telling is that CNN is quickly becoming the choice of the moderate – go figure.
To answer the questions poised, Gingrich is being maligned with misleading and inaccurate head nines simply because: he’s in Romney’s way. Let the process take its course, and the last man standing will be the nominee, regardless of whether or not that nominee is approved by the RNC and its surrogates.