Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Mr. Gingrich is now the front-runner by the slimmest of margins
In part because it looks like he won’t make a few state ballots, Mr. Gingrich leads in the elected delegate count by only 10 votes; 854 to 848. Mr. Santorum is third place with 189 votes and Dr. Paul is down to 167. 60 delegates look like they will be uncommitted or other. There is a regional divide shaping up with Mr. Gingrich winning a majority or Southern states and delegates, Mr. Romney doing the same in the Northeast and Mr. Romney holding a modest delegate lead in the rest of the country.
Despite the fact that Mr. Gingrich won endorsements or quasi-endorsements from Mrs. Palin, Mr. Perry and Mr. F. Thompson, the real turning point of the campaign was the debate itself. Prior to that Mr. Romney’s go it alone strategy seems to work. By spending the last few years distancing himself from both Tea Partiers and SoCons, Romney 4.0 would have the moderate vote all to himself and the Conservative vote would be split several ways. However, all of a sudden, Mr. Romney had an absolutely terrible debate, failing to answer simple questions in a savvy way while Mr. Gingrich hit the ball out of the park smashing windows while he was at it. While I for one have my doubt as to whether Mr. Gingrich is nearly as Conservative as he claimed, he defended his positions articulately unlike Mr. Romney. With South Carolinian Conservatives rallying around Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Romney’s divide and conquer strategy was put on hold. His electability argument is also put on hold. The country as a whole scratched their heads and said if this guy cannot debate in his own primary, he cannot go up against Mr. Obama. He has thus lost his front-runner status. While Mr. Santorum and Dr. Paul were decent, unfortunately, neither of them can speak with charisma. So those on the fence are all breaking to Mr. Gingrich instead of an alternative.
At the current moment in time, we are headed to a brokered conservation. However, eventually, one of the two candidates could emerge prior two Tampa. Of course as the establishment is reaching its limit being embarrassed there are whispers of Mr. Romney leaving the race. I doubt this will happen. We are stuck with both him as well as Mr. Gingrich as the main candidates. On the one hand, his ego won’t let him get out on the other hand, after winning this Monday’s debate, there are signs that Mr. Romney might get his act together again. In the meantime is it both sad and entertaining to watch the Romney camp go into meltdown mode lashing out calling everybody stupid and bigoted. How soon they forgot that they are in this mess simply because so called smartest man in the room was not smart enough to do his homework before the debate. RW and I warned them for months what they’d eventually have to face, but they knew better and they were prepared. Well the favor of this month found out that they could no longer just wing it. And as for the bigotry lash outs, these guys also did not have a problem with bigotry when Mr. Cain was on the losing end, but hey.
On the one hand, Mr. Gingrich should win Florida simply from his current momentum. On the other hand, if I have to predict (which is dangerous to do this seasons) I predict that Mr. Romney will eventually get his act together to win the nomination even if it is just kicking and screeching over the finish line. While his judgment is poor, he is not nearly as stupid as last week’s debate performance suggests and he is also a little saner than the TARP on steroids wing of his camp.