A few days ago none of the candidates had 30% of the delegates and in the Belle-weather region of the Midwest, the Big 3 had about 22% of the popular vote each. It take a bit for my model to pick up serious trends, but the last few polls confirm that Mr. Gingrich is certainly going up and Mr. Cain is going down. Along with various national polls this week to add to the mix, we had about 10 states with states polls this week and we also received data on the southern region of the country. Furthermore, 2 out of every 5 states have been polled at least once over the past month, so the data is starting to pile in.
The delegate math continues to get more complex, states continue to tweak their rules, not to mention change the dates of some primary contest. While a few states have lost or gained a delegate or two due to a shift in the balance of power in the state assembly or a similar event, Six states have received punishment for holding the primary or caucuses too early or failing to uphold rules set up by the national party. In short the punishment received by these states consists of losing half their original allotment of delegates. So instead of there being 2218 elected delegate from the 50 states and District of Columbia, there appears to be only 2084. I do not count US territories in my delegate math. It is a little unclear how each of those states will deal with the fact that they have fewer delegates, but essentially, as things stand, we will have 6% less delegates. Mr. Romney appears to be hurt the most in 4 of those states from these penalties, but the bottom line is that there are fewer delegates up for grabs.
The landscape has changed a quite bit during November, Mr. Gingrich began the moth not leading in any state. He now leads the popular vote in the majority of the states. He also appears to have at least one delegate in 48 states. He leads the popular vote in every region of the country except for the Northeast. Even in the Northeast he has 23% now whereas he could not clear the 18% mark last week. Mr. Romney has between 20 and 30 % in every region, but the South. However, in the South he is actually moving closer to the 20%. Mr. Cain now has less than 25% in every region of the country and cannot quite clear 14% in the Northeast.
While Mr. Romney remains relatively stable, the main activity of the week (even month) is that Mr. Gingrich seems to be taking away support from Mr. Cain in order to be the new front-runner. So while a few Cainites may have join minor camps, the majority of those leaving the Cain camp are moving to Mr. Gingrich for now. As an aside I think, I met my second real-life quasi-Gingrichite. A friend e-mailed me a link of one of Mr. Gingrich’s speeches were he talks about housing, terrorism, immigration, the court system and so on and so forth. I said to myself. Wow, what a great speech, he sounds Conservative enough for me, but at the same time I remembered NY-23. So I e-mailed my friend back and told him that while it was a great speech, I was concerned about his actions in NY-23. Some argue that Mr. Hoffman’s forgiveness of Mr. Gingrich should be enough, but Mr. Hoffman has no right to forgive Mr. Gingrich on behalf of the people.
It appears that many people are forgetting Mr. Gingrich’s short-commings and just seeing he new Conservative speeches. Many Romneyites appear bitter that they are now losing to this guy. While it is true that we finally have a front-runner that is clearly worse than Mr. Romney to put it bluntly, it does no good for Romneyites to lash out at Tea-Partiers, SoCons and everybody else. Conservatives are not monolithic voters just as some Conservative voters forgive Mr. Romney for his short-comings others forgive Mr. Gingrich. Let’s look at things in perspective, it is not as if every single voter supports Mr. Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich is having trouble crossing the 25% mark just like Mr. Romney himself. So not everybody has become an honorary Gingrichite just because he is doing well in the debate and appears to be getting credit for running a well disciplined campaign. While it appears that an anti-Romney sentiment may have helped put Mr. Gingrich in the lead, an anti-Gingrich sentiment might finally help Mr. Romney crack the 25% mark. It shall be interesting to see things unfold. November has turned out to be much wilder than I thought as things continue to shake out.
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