Mitt Romney: evitable?

posted at 11:15 am on January 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

After leading in polling in South Carolina for the last couple of weeks, Mitt Romney got badly beaten in the Palmetto State by Newt Gingrich yesterday, wh was fueled by two dynamic debate performances, especially with a big attack on the national media in the second.  The scope of the defeat — by 12-13 points — left Romney with no delegates from this primary [see update II], as Gingrich won every Congressional district in the state.  Sarah Palin called Newt Gingrich the new front-runner, and while that’s an understandable spot reaction, it’s a stretch at best.

Gingrich did a terrific job in South Carolina.  It’s worth noting that Romney won the same percentage of the vote (27%) that polls showed him having two weeks ago when he led 27/24 over Rick Santorum.  Gingrich won by firing up nearly everyone else and getting 40% of the vote in South Carolina.  That was an amazing accomplishment, all the more so because it mainly resulted from the two televised debates, and despite as well as because of the attack from Gingrich’s second former wife Marianne.

How did that happen?  Thanks to that confluence of events, personal performance, and a couple of stumbles by Romney in the debates, Gingrich tapped into the lingering dissatisfaction of conservatives with Romney, fear of losing any chance of stopping Romney, and anger against the national media.  This was an emotional sale, not primarily based on policy choices, which haven’t changed in months on either side.  His big win will spark hope that Romney can be beat in the primaries, and the scope of that win will impact the Florida race, certainly.

However, it’s probably not a gamechanger, at least not on its own.  Florida comes next, and it has a lot more delegates at stake.  It’s less conservative than South Carolina, and it’s a much bigger state geographically as well as in population.  Romney has a much stronger organization in Florida than Gingrich or anyone else; Ron Paul won’t even contest it, he announced last night.  At least 200,000 ballots have already been cast in Florida, which will give Romney a big boost.  Furthermore, the emotional peak in South Carolina that fueled Gingrich’s rise will dissipate quickly in Florida, unless another big controversy arises that gives Gingrich an opportunity to blast the media, and Romney belatedly moved to defuse the tax-return issue this morning.  At that point, voters in more moderate Florida will go back to looking at Gingrich’s record and his past, which is what killed his last boomlet in mid-December.

The schedule is another big problem for Gingrich.  First, as Gingrich even mentioned in his victory speech last night, his campaign coffers aren’t exactly overflowing at the moment, and the pace is about to change.  The week after Florida, five states have primaries or caucuses (two of which are non-binding), and the lack of resources will make it difficult for Gingrich to compete simultaneously.  Three weeks later, Arizona and Michigan hold their primaries on the same day, which means that Gingrich will probably only be able to energetically compete in one of those two states, and Michigan is already Romney country.  The very next week, ten states hold their contests, including Gingrich’s home state of Virginia, where Gingrich’s lack of organization resulted in failure to make the ballot.  Romney’s big advantage in organization hasn’t even begun to play out in this race, but it’s going to be huge in February and March.

That doesn’t mean Romney has it sewn up, either.  Instead of Florida being a coronation, it’s now a survival state for Romney.  Losing South Carolina will undermine confidence in Romney’s ability to close the deal, especially by getting beaten so badly by Gingrich, who was third in polling two weeks ago and finished fourth and fifth in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively.  If Romney struggles in Florida, Gingrich might not need a lot of organization in the following couple of weeks to start winning races, no matter how many resources Romney throws at those states.  Adam Smith reminds us that Romney outspent and outorganized John McCain in 2008 in Florida and still lost the state after losing South Carolina, but Romney had also lost New Hampshire to McCain.

The biggest outcome from yesterday is that Mitt Romney looks surprisingly evitable, while Newt Gingrich looks surprisingly credible.  The odds are still stacked against a long-shot Gingrich, but he’s no longer a no-shot candidate.

Update: Sean Trende gives Romney a 35% chance of losing the nomination, and offers this warning to Romney:

Simply put, there are very few states where he can perform among the major demographic groups the way he performed in South Carolina and still expect to win. And remember, this is still in many ways the electorate that selected Christine O’Donnell, Carl Paladino and Linda McMahon as its standard-bearers — in very blue states with relatively moderate GOP electorates, no less.

This vote was an utter repudiation of Romney, and it absolutely will be repeated in state after state if something doesn’t change the basic dynamic of the race. It is true that Gingrich doesn’t have funds or organization, but he gets a ton of free media from the debates, and he has an electorate that simply wants someone other than Romney.

That’s not to say that Romney’s money and organization don’t give him advantages — they do. He remains the GOP front-runner, in my view, because it isn’t clear how well Gingrich can survive the long haul. But there’s a not-insubstantial chance, call it 35 percent, that Romney won’t be the nominee.

Poor organization can be fixed, although it’s still pretty unclear whether Gingrich himself can do that.  A poorly-performing candidate is tougher to fix, but also not impossible.

Update II: Actually, Romney ended up with two of the 25 delegates from South Carolina.

Update III: My description of Trende’s odds-making was inaccurate.  He didn’t say Gingrich had a 35% chance of winning the nomination, but that Romney had a 35% chance of losing it.   At the moment, that sounds like the same thing, but it’s not exactly what Sean said.  I’ve changed it above.


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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……….Noooooooooooo!

KOOLAID2 on January 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

I’ll say again that the transformation of this primary season from a coronation for Romney to an ugly slugfest will ultimately benefit the nominee, whichever one it ends up being

I think Romney will pull it out, but this war with Newt is exposing weaknesses that Mitt MUST address before the Dems come after him with the long knives.

fiatboomer on January 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Romney = Hillary

Base will not be denied.

freshface on January 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Newt is a flawed candidate for sure, but it’s a good thing he won SC.

It will force Romney to get his act together, and if he doesn’t, maybe someone else will emerge.

Either way, it’s sending an important message that you better not be timid and stammer, you better be able to fight for conservative principles.

commodore on January 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I wonder if anyone in Team Mitten’s is reconsidering their strategy to run away from conservatives. How’s that Big Tent strategy working out for you Mitt?

David in ATL on January 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

************************** Ah ***********************************

************************ NUTS ************************************

canopfor on January 22, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Video from team newt…

http://vimeo.com/24027690

the_nile on January 22, 2012 at 11:23 AM

How did that happen?

Much credit/blame goes to Sarah Palin “I would vote for Newt”.

I love Sarah, but I’m for Mitt. He’s solid. Newt has fatal personality issues.

Paul-Cincy on January 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

commodore on January 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Exactly.

PattyJ on January 22, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I’ll say again that the transformation of this primary season from a coronation for Romney to an ugly slugfest will ultimately benefit the nominee, whichever one it ends up being

I think Romney will pull it out, but this war with Newt is exposing weaknesses that Mitt MUST address before the Dems come after him with the long knives.

fiatboomer on January 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Very good point. I agree. :)

Paul-Cincy on January 22, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Romney = Hillary

Base will not be denied.

freshface on January 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Newt = McCain
We all know this…

rich801 on January 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

…exposing weaknesses that Mitt MUST address before the Dems come after him with the long knives.

fiatboomer on January 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

He can’t.
Its not in him. He’s been ‘Mittens’ for so long that even if he tries to act tough theres a real possibility that it will come across as fake and contrived.

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Newt was just on MTP. He just articulated BEAUTIFULLY what the conservatives have been screaming about…Obama’s radical past, community organizing and his ideology.
Newt is charging ahead and will TEACH the American people why we are in this mess!

That is why Romney will never cut it! Never! Romney just does not have the ability to teach. He spouts.

Newt is on fire and is touching a nerve that NO ONE on the trail is even coming close to touching..

katy on January 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Dear Mitt Romney,
I’m sorry to inform you that outdated PolitiBots like you who cannot think for themselves and constantly rely on polling-committees for not-so-well-rehearsed script lines are doomed to fail…no matter how many dolla…err…I mean…batteries are stuffed up your backside.

But, go on, buy all the dirty smear ad spots you can, because you are incapable of convincing anyone you mean a thing you actually say. You even come off sounding guilty of your own wealth. So much for all that Massachusetts influence! “True conservative”…bwahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

Pity that your “inevitable” slogan, which was on the tip of all your advertisers’ tongues, sank like a lead balloon among those tested. I guess they just haven’t been fed the proper amount of propaganda. Silly, how some people believe they should *think for themselves*.

Be nice, and you still might get an invitation to Gingrich’s innauguration.

Czar of Defenestration on January 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Politically Correct Speaking Mittens….NO!!

Passion,Conviction,and knows how to Verbally Man-Handle
Hopey/Changeys Race-Baiting and Class-Warfare,and the
Filthy Rotten Extremely Rich so-called 1% vrs. the so
-called OWS 99%,…..Yes to Newty on jamming it down
Obamas Progressive,ahem,throat……YES!!

canopfor on January 22, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Brokered Convention 2012

The Count on January 22, 2012 at 11:27 AM

The first question to Romney in the next debate should be “Is Obama a socialist?” If he hems and haws again, he is toast. Toast! Burnt toast!

Newt was just on MTP. He just articulated BEAUTIFULLY what the conservatives have been screaming about…

Damn right. We’re mad.

Marcus on January 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Romney doesn’t have the street smarts necessary to take on the MSM and the Chicago Machine.
It will be uglier than a South Side mugging.

Newt’s a fighter, but the narrative template will work against him – an older, fatter and crankier McCain.

The GOP chances are Hail Mary at best.

Go to the convention, sort it out there and come away with one of the Class of 2016 on the fast track.

Anything else is disaster.

Oh, and no more checks to any of the current crop of also-rans – which is all of them.

Bruno Strozek on January 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Maybe he get his money from Fannie or Freddie.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Newt certainly has a silver tongue. So far he has been able to justify every position he has taken even when there are conflicting positions.

Newt is an expert at running his mouth but he has run almost nothing else.

The current occupant of the White House is also good at running his mouth and is in way over his head.

The ability to run ones mouth is not a qualification for the presidency. Moses was a great leader and was slow of speech.

Romney is an expert at everything this country needs right now.

The Rock on January 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

The Florida general electorate is certainly more purplish than SC. But FL GOP is more red than pundits tend to give it credit for.

I think Newt will be very strong here.

Anecdotal evidence from conservative rally in Orlando yesterday:

https://twitter.com/#!/JeffWeinerOS/status/160806807802085376
https://twitter.com/#!/JeffWeinerOS/status/160807235558191105

Purple Fury on January 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

What this really shows is that robo-calling voters 5-6 times a day for a week pisses them off at you. Those who haven’t experienced it, be ready to be annoyed to death. Calling and asking them to quit doesn’t work.

WingedPanther73 on January 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

The problem for Romney and the advantage for Newt is that as he gains more Newt-mentum, the more free exposure he gets from the media. It negates Romney’s big ad money advantage. An hour on Hannity or O’Reilly is worth more than 100 hours of ads.

And the more people that hear Newt talk, the more people he pulls to his side. So Romney needs to reverse this somehow or he’s going to be in trouble.

tkyang99 on January 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Mittens robocalled the whole state and pissed everyone off:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/288852/roboverkill-jonah-goldberg

This confirms to me that he’s been trying to buy the nomination.

Well, now he’ll have to fight and fight clean. If he continues the dirty crap then Newt will get it.

I don’t really care between Newt and Mitt. They are both flawed.

Santorum and Paul are both unelectable. Santorum might be the best president but he’s almost certainly the easiest for Obama to beat. Paul is disgusting.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Newt was just on MTP. He just articulated BEAUTIFULLY what the conservatives have been screaming about…Obama’s radical past, community organizing and his ideology.
Newt is charging ahead and will TEACH the American people why we are in this mess!

That is why Romney will never cut it! Never! Romney just does not have the ability to teach. He spouts.

Newt is on fire and is touching a nerve that NO ONE on the trail is even coming close to touching..

katy on January 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I just hope he continues to deliver on this conservative message when he takes the WH and not just blowing smoke. Of course he IS a politician. :(

Hawkerflyer on January 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Romney is an expert at everything this country needs right now.

The Rock on January 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Yeah. Lying and bullshit. A great confirmation of the left’s image of capitalism.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM

I’ll say again that the transformation of this primary season from a coronation for Romney to an ugly slugfest will ultimately benefit the nominee, whichever one it ends up being

I think Romney will pull it out, but this war with Newt is exposing weaknesses that Mitt MUST address before the Dems come after him with the long knives.

fiatboomer on January 22, 2012 at 11:19 AM

The flip side of the “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” theory is the (as long as I’m indulging in cliches) “you never get another chance to make a first impression” theory.

For the vast majority of American voters who paid little or no attention to Mitt Romney until this January, he is emerging as a bumbling, heartless corporate tool. He wants to fire you so he can get rich, but he doesn’t appear to particularly competent either.

Not a good way to introduce yourself to, say, independent voters in the swing state of Florida if you want to win in the fall.

urban elitist on January 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Newt = McCain
We all know this…

rich801 on January 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Thats…..interesting.
Can you connect the dots to show a comparison between Newts approach of exposing Obama and the agenda of the progressives and McCain approach in 08?

Unless you meant Romney = McCain?

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM

i was hoping more from my man ron, but still it was very satisfying to see the defeat of the republican establishment.
defeated:
carl rove
fox news and murdoch
druge
republican moderates\liberals
dozens of republican pundits that where in the tank for romney.

nathor on January 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM

‘Dems with long knives’ would have much juicier target in Newt,and they have a joyful history of hating him already. If I weren’t so turned off by Newt making it that far, I’d probably enjoy it.

jeanie on January 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Romney = Hillary

Base will not be denied.

freshface on January 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

He’s finished 4th and 5th in 2 other states. Last I checked Romney was +18.5 in FL. That will likely tighten, but just saying.

One more thing. SC kept Strom Thurman in office for years which explains the voting constituents. Just sayin.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Romney should quit now! Newt needs to rest up for Obama. Anyone who supports Romney is a terrorist

davemason2k on January 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

At that point, voters in more moderate Florida will go back to looking at Gingrich’s record and his past, which is what killed his last boomlet in mid-December.

Yeah, but at least this time he won something.

The Nerve on January 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Thats…..interesting.
Can you connect the dots to show a comparison between Newts approach of exposing Obama and the agenda of the progressives and McCain approach in 08?

Unless you meant Romney = McCain?

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM

obama=mittens=newt. the difference is that newt was not blessed by the establishment.

nathor on January 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Who knows? I know we get what we deserve.

DumboTheAvenger on January 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Romney should quit now! Newt needs to rest up for Obama. Anyone who supports Romney is a terrorist

davemason2k on January 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

eh

nathor on January 22, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Obama is hoping that Newt is the nominee. It would make Obama’s reelection campaign so much easier.

bluegill on January 22, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Hawkerflyer on January 22, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Agreed! I am, by no means jumping on his bandwagon. I have a healthy distrust of him. At this point I’m rooting for the message, not the man….

katy on January 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Newt certainly has a silver tongue. So far he has been able to justify every position he has taken even when there are conflicting positions.

The Rock on January 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

On MTP Newt was asked about his attacks on Bain and venture capitalism. Newt replied that suggesting he was attacking capitalism was a charge not even a high school debater would make. Newt, huh? That’s your answer? That’s not an answer. That’s glib, and is no defense of your previous attacks on Romney. It’s Newt with his smug, self-serving smile.

Newt makes the most brilliant and to the point conservative arguments. But that’s not who he is. He’s ultimately about glorifying Newt. I want a President who understands what’s going on (Newt does) and will sit down and do the work responsibly (Newt won’t — that’s his problem).

Newt is what to me is toxic in a President — someone wrapped up in their own personal aims, agenda, and demons. Yes Newt, you’re smarter than anyone else in the room. Now go away.

Paul-Cincy on January 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Newt’s negatives are 57%. He’s not a likable guy. I am convinced he will lose. We may also lose the house in the process, and Obama gets back control again.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM

I’ll start off by admitting I don’t like any of the remaining candidates but I also want to see this competition continue. More debates. More vetting of candidates.

My 2 cents, again:

Mitt, we know you love your wife deeply but you better find a way to show the audience that you at least like them. Stop being such a cautious perfectionist. Let us in or find yourself beaten by a flawed but charming doughball.

Fallon on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

It looks like we might have the scenario Dick Morris was predicting, where Gingrich and Romney go back and forth as to who wins a particular primary, and this back and forth in victories will go all the way until the convention.

I am fine with the nomination process continuing on. These guys need to feel as much heat from each other as possible to inoculate themselves in preparation for the general election. Obama has to make it all about the GOP nominee to win reelection. If Obama gets in to talking about issues, he’s finished. This is why the talking heads who say that Obama will only make it all about Gingrich, but not Romney, during the general election are wrong.

The good news is it isn’t inevitable that Romney will be the nominee at this point. And yes I think we should have a lot more debates. Just because the blogs and the media have continual access to all of the nuances of each candidate, and are therefore bored to tears over the news of more debates, the rest of us don’t. What I want more that we haven’t really been getting in the debates are *specifics*. HOW will they fix X,Y,Z?

Weebork on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

And the more people that hear Newt talk, the more people he pulls to his side. So Romney needs to reverse this somehow or he’s going to be in trouble.

tkyang99 on January 22, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I think part of the difference is that it seems like Romney is trying to sell you on his ideas and Gingrich states what a lot of people already think.

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Obama is hoping that Newt is the nominee. It would make Obama’s reelection campaign so much easier.

bluegill on January 22, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Stop making up fairy stories. Obama has been preparing for Romney for 12 months now. Newt was not even a blip on the radar until yesterday. He’s almost certainly giving the WH nightmares because he won’t keep quiet about Obama’s friends.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Newt is an expert at running his mouth but he has run almost nothing else.

The Rock on January 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Yeah, the U.S. House of Representatives isn’t much. Also, being Minority Whip is a cushy job that doesn’t require much in the way of organizational skills and leadership.

Oh yeah, and that whole Georgia state GOP conference thing that resulted in the state turning GOP for the first time in over a century….that was armchair quarterbacking at it’s finest.

Attack the man’s policy positions if you want. Go after his personal life, too. Both are legitimate areas of attack. However, claiming Gingrich has no leadership experience is just silly.

MTLassen on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

i was hoping more from my man ron, but still it was very satisfying to see the defeat of the republican establishment.
..
nathor on January 22, 2012 at 11:35 AM

One can well understand our glee, but please remember a larger, more dire enemy awaits defeat in November. It is good that Newt triumphed because it brings a sense of reality back to our mission and makes all remaining candidates realize that they have a nation of supporters to answer to. But let’s not gloat nor turn this thing into a fait accompli as yet.

And one hopes that you are on board with whomever eventually wins the nomination.

(Sorry for the cheap, blog-whoring link. I just hate writing these things twice.)

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Lying and bullshit.
gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Is this a great country or what!

Bruno Strozek on January 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Yeah, the U.S. House of Representatives isn’t much. Also, being Minority Whip is a cushy job that doesn’t require much in the way of organizational skills and leadership.

MTLassen on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

..be careful with statements like this. The Botox Beyotch might just disprove your assertion.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Newt-The Adulterer in Chief ? Gary Hart heard saying – Whiskey Tango Foxtrot !

FlaMurph on January 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

The SC Tea Party just gave the finger to the Republican elites. It was the Tea Party that gave the Republicans the house in 2010 and they’ve been treated with contempt ever since. The elites do not understand how angry the base is. Newt will fight! Go Newt!

Kaffa on January 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Is this a great country or what!

Bruno Strozek on January 22, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I’m all for free speech. Mitt needs to grow a pair:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBXe3Kvg-qU

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM

bluegill on January 22, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Obama is pissing in his shorts at the thought of having to go up against the sword of truth that NEWT is swinging around the campaign trail.

There is no way Obama can stand up to point blank facts about his past, his radical associations, his insane policies and he can’t defend the “numbers” in relation to the economy.. Newt WON’T LET HIM and he knows it.

katy on January 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Stop making up fairy stories. Obama has been preparing for Romney for 12 months now. Newt was not even a blip on the radar until yesterday. He’s almost certainly giving the WH nightmares because he won’t keep quiet about Obama’s friends.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

..do you seriously believe this? I would be very surprised if Obama’s campaign did not have a playbook on any of the candidates. The guy cannot run a country but he sure as hell can campaign and win elections.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

..be careful with statements like this. The Botox Beyotch might just disprove your assertion.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Point well taken. However, Hoyer is Whip. Pelosi is Leader.

MTLassen on January 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I have a feeling that SC was just a sample of the whole conservative base in the country, why don’t the establishment listen to us? they represent us right? then why are they so wrong and slow in their decisions.

evergreenland on January 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Ed, you’ve written at least a dozen posts underplaying Gingrich’s prospects, and then you’re proven wrong, you pretend your past writings never existed and proceed double down with the same tripe. If you’re not honest enough to own up your past bias & mistakes, why should anyone trust you now?

BCrago66 on January 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Thats…..interesting.
Can you connect the dots to show a comparison between Newts approach of exposing Obama and the agenda of the progressives and McCain approach in 08?

Unless you meant Romney = McCain?

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Newt and McCain are both RINOs that will vote against their party in a heart beat.

rich801 on January 22, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Romney is an expert at everything this country needs right now.

The Rock on January 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Yep, all of that vaunted expertise sure turned Massachusetts around!

Seriously – It’s still a wide open primary, and the nomination is up for grabs by any of them (except Pawn Rall).

Snorkdoodle Whizbang on January 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Newt’s negatives are 57%. He’s not a likable guy. I am convinced he will lose. We may also lose the house in the process, and Obama gets back control again.

rubberneck on January 22, 2012 at 11:40 AM

That’s certainly the CW.

A week ago the CW was that Romney would go 3-0 in the early contests, and he’d be roll to the nomination after winning SC.

I think Gingrich’s unfavorables will change. People like a winner.

Purple Fury on January 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

The guy cannot run a country but he sure as hell can campaign and win elections.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

He can only win when he has no record. He is done.

Igor R. on January 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Let us in or find yourself beaten by a flawed but charming doughball.

Fallon on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Too late.
That said…what if we already are in and thats the real Mitt?

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Brokered Convention 2012

The Count on January 22, 2012 at 11:27 AM

To install who??????????

Rovin on January 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM

“An American president who can create a Chinese-Canadian partnership is truly a danger to this country.”

-Newt

That is gold, GOLD. I couldn’t give a flying rip about Newt’s marital proclivities, a dude who can take it to PBHO like this will get my vote.

Bishop on January 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Stop making up fairy stories. Obama has been preparing for Romney for 12 months now. Newt was not even a blip on the radar until yesterday. He’s almost certainly giving the WH nightmares because he won’t keep quiet about Obama’s friends.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Obama is pissing in his shorts at the thought of having to go up against the sword of truth that NEWT is swinging around the campaign trail.

There is no way Obama can stand up to point blank facts about his past, his radical associations, his insane policies and he can’t defend the “numbers” in relation to the economy.. Newt WON’T LET HIM and he knows it.

katy on January 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Nobody cared about this last time, nobody will care about it this time.

But if Newt wants to get into people’s sordid pasts….

urban elitist on January 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Newt is a flawed candidate for sure, but it’s a good thing he won SC.

It will force Romney to get his act together, and if he doesn’t, maybe someone else will emerge.

Either way, it’s sending an important message that you better not be timid and stammer, you better be able to fight for conservative principles.

commodore on January 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

LOL! Mr Electable’s been running for president at least for 6 years, maybe longer. If he hasn’t got his act together now, and he hasn’t, he never will.

bgibbs1000 on January 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM

He’s almost certainly giving the WH nightmares because he won’t keep quiet about Obama’s friends.

So naive. Newt is a much bigger target than Mitt. The Dems can’t believe their luck. And, of course, Callista makes such a fine role model as potential FLOTUS – bleached blonde gold digger who slept with a married man. We are so screwed.

Priscilla on January 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM

..do you seriously believe this? I would be very surprised if Obama’s campaign did not have a playbook on any of the candidates. The guy cannot run a country but he sure as hell can campaign and win elections.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Everything they’ve been saying for the past 12 months is consistent with it.

Romney is exactly what Obama wants to be and he fits the left’s caricature of the capitalist to a tee. I doubt that Obama can conceive of anyone else winning the GOP nomination.

Most of their ammunition has been spent laying waste to Palin.

I’m sure they have “a playbook” on all the GOP nominees but most of Newt’s dirt is already out there. Look what happened to ABCs SC surprise.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

It’s interesting to see that the same sort of sordid allegations that used to outrage South Carolinians when Bill Clinton was president now don’t seem to matter so much.

Hypocrisy all around.

rogaineguy on January 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Obama is pissing in his shorts at the thought of having to go up against the sword of truth that NEWT is swinging around the campaign trail.

There is no way Obama can stand up to point blank facts about his past, his radical associations, his insane policies and he can’t defend the “numbers” in relation to the economy.. Newt WON’T LET HIM and he knows it.

katy on January 22, 2012 at 11:45 AM

..unfortunately, the debates will be sharply minimized if Newt is the nominee. It will be fun to watch Obama squirm but they will be a small facet of this Fall’s campaign. Also, the fable of Newt following Obama around from stop to stop won’t hunt either. Obama’s LSM knee-pad, tongue-bathing, handmaidens will deconstruct that in short order by showing Gingrich up as a desperate, incompetent clown — particularly if Newt is behind in the polls as he is now with The Pantload.

Note, I mean no disrespect here. I just wish to point out what we will be facing.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Priscilla on January 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM

IIRC, you are a Romney shill. So forgive me if I ignore you.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Gingrich won by firing up nearly everyone else and getting 40% of the vote in South Carolina

No, he won because there are so few choices in the field. I think we can thank Obama’s buddies the MSM for this mess. We are only three primaries in (well 2 and a caucus) with three different winners. Yes, now is the time to throw in towels and declare winners. While were at it, lets just have the MSM declare Obama, “King of the Universe for Life” right now. So it seems, the voters in 47 (or is it 54) states don’t matter at all. I think there’s still plenty of time for another candidate or two to three or fifty to get in this thing and win.

Tommy_G on January 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

In politics, you have to be able to explain why you are good and your opponent is bad. Mitt is evidently incapable of that, he is too “reserved” to quote Christie. Mitt is a little like some guy running for dogcatcher who seems to believe that dogs have a right to roam freely.

Igor R. on January 22, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Mitt needs to grow a pair:

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Never gonna happen.

If the nominee is one of this crew the GOP is doomed.

Bruno Strozek on January 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Romney’s basic problem is an inability to turn potential negatives into positives and in a easily understandable way. This was underscored this morning by Chris Christie who handled the Bain attack quite simply by talking about all the middle class jobs Bain created via Staples and other companies they bought, financed, or grew. Romney just doesn’t have that natural ability and, if he doesn’t get better at it, team Obama, and I include the media in there, are going to have a field day, should Romney ultimately prevail. A McCain 2.0 approach ain’t gonna cut it.

TXUS on January 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Newt and McCain are both RINOs that will vote against their party in a heart beat.

rich801 on January 22, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Haven’t you left someone out of the equation?

Between Newt and McCain, who’s the bigger RINO?
Between Romney and McCain, who’s the bigger RINO?
Between Romney and Newt, who’s the bigger RINO?
Who’s campaign style is closer to McCains..Newts or Romneys?

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Note, I mean no disrespect here. I just wish to point out what we will be facing.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Look up the video of Romney crying in the face of hecklers at the Iowa state fair … he needs to grow a pair fast. If he can’t beat Newt then he wouldn’t have a chance against Obama. See also Ann Barnhardt above (at 11:44 AM).

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Or not…

NickDeringer on January 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Romney is an expert at everything this country needs right now.

The Rock on January 22, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Well then he should get better at articulating this.

Daemonocracy on January 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Gov. Romney, lose the national strategy, secure your base you big dummy you!

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I’m sure they have “a playbook” on all the GOP nominees but most of Newt’s dirt is already out there. Look what happened to ABCs SC surprise.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

..I was just saying it is naive to believe that Obama is NOT prepared. But the repulsion that was expressed at the dredging up of Gingrich’s old, dirty laundry give one hope. Again, a cheap, blog-whoring link for the aforesaid reasons.

Just this, gh, we should be prepared to go to the mat for ANY candidate who is our nominee because the asss-clown on the other side will surely bring this nation down given another four years of unfettered mischief.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM

If your point is that I am a Romney supporter, then yes, I am. I liked Newt for a hot minute, until he showed his true colors by going on left-wing attack.

But a shill…no way. I’ve said I will vote for whoever runs against Obama. I just think that Newt is the far less electable of the two.

But, by all means, ignore me, lol.

Priscilla on January 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM

If the nominee is one of this crew the GOP is doomed.

Bruno Strozek on January 22, 2012 at 11:53 AM

I think the GOP is already doomed. It may carry the same moniker, but it is now in the process of being forever changed.

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I wonder if anyone in Team Mitten’s is reconsidering their strategy to run away from conservatives. How’s that Big Tent strategy working out for you Mitt?

David in ATL on January 22, 2012 at 11:20 AM

I still don’t understand how, but this strategy DID work for McCain in the 2008 primaries.

neuquenguy on January 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Gov. Romney, lose the national strategy, secure your base you big dummy you!

Cindy Munford on January 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Yes!!

Priscilla on January 22, 2012 at 11:58 AM

But, by all means, ignore me, lol.

Priscilla on January 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM

..let ‘em rant, ma’am. Stick to your guns and follow your heart. Some here are professional grouches.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

LOL! Mr Electable’s been running for president at least for 6 years, maybe longer. If he hasn’t got his act together now, and he hasn’t, he never will.

bgibbs1000 on January 22, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Kinda reminds me of the car insurance commercial—Hey Mitt, is your car up a pole again?

Rovin on January 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Just this, gh, we should be prepared to go to the mat for ANY candidate who is our nominee because the asss-clown on the other side will surely bring this nation down given another four years of unfettered mischief.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM

+billions and billions

Also, this

MTLassen on January 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I have never rested my case on “debates”. Obama will probably agree to one at a minimum. Maybe two if Newt is nominated.

If Newt continues to carry the strong message of WHY we are in this mess and WHO Obama really is.. he will create a thunderstorm of support despite the media.

The rules are being rewritten as each day goes by. The TEA PARTY may not be visible but the passion is being reignited with NEWT’S message and delivery style.

Newt will create the media attention he needs…

katy on January 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Just this, gh, we should be prepared to go to the mat for ANY candidate who is our nominee because the asss-clown on the other side will surely bring this nation down given another four years of unfettered mischief.

The War Planner on January 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Yup and Mitt will have a much better chance against Obama if he beats Newt in a fair fight. If he wins, Newt has a much better shot at getting the establishment solidly behind him than Palin would have. At least there won’t be a GOP coronation now.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

After 3 weeks of accusations that “Newt is running a dirty campaign against Romney”, anybody wonder why none of the pundits are mentioning this little tidbit from the CNN exit poll?

When asked who ran the most “unfair campaign” 6% said Gingrich, 49% said Romney.

Flora Duh on January 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Hey! I know my rights, I’ve been here all day!

GW_SS-Delta on January 22, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I still don’t understand how, but this strategy DID work for McCain in the 2008 primaries.

neuquenguy on January 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

1. The mood of the country was different: there was a “conservative” in the White House who had almost destroyed the country. Now there is a Communist there who has gone much further.

2. That election was decided in Florida via the access to the governor’s political machine. Not going to happen this time.

Igor R. on January 22, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Brokered Convention 2012

The Count on January 22, 2012 at 11:27 AM

The only hope out of this mess, next question who gets thrown in the mix.

KBird on January 22, 2012 at 12:01 PM

While Newt runs on big ideas and has an ‘internet campaign,’ Newt himself in the last debate said he can’t raise the money $ to compete with O, and is counting on the debates to even the odds. Thing is O won’t agree to such debates.

Mitt CAN raise the $$.

anotherJoe on January 22, 2012 at 12:01 PM

That said… what if we already are in and thats the real Mitt?

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Then Senator and Mrs. Mandy Blutarsky are headin’ for the White House.

Fallon on January 22, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I think the GOP is already doomed. It may carry the same moniker, but it is now in the process of being forever changed.

Mimzey on January 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Exactly this.

And its the under-reported elephant in the room in all this.

So to speak.

Purple Fury on January 22, 2012 at 12:02 PM

If your point is that I am a Romney supporter, then yes, I am. I liked Newt for a hot minute, until he showed his true colors by going on left-wing attack.

[snip]

Priscilla on January 22, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Newt went on a counter-attack. It was clumsy and he’s abandoned it to return to his former “positive” stance. It was absolutely necessary at the time or he would have been eliminated by Romney’s “independent” PAC.

Romney needs to gird his loins and go on Mark Levin’s show. There’s an open invitation. He also needs to cut out the conference calls with the media and recognize that they are on the other side. Doing just those two things would probably sink Newt.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 12:03 PM

If the Tea Party throws in with this pied piper-hot for Pelosi, betrayer of Paul Ryan- then they will have sealed their fate as a failed genuine movement and will have been for nothing. The TP should NOT pick ANY team as it begins the diluting process.

FlaMurph on January 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Six out of 10 Republican primary voters in deep red South Carolina did not vote for Newt Gingrich yesterday. Seven out of 10 did not vote for Romney. Nothing is inevitable.

Rational Thought on January 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM

When asked who ran the most “unfair campaign” 6% said Gingrich, 49% said Romney.

Flora Duh on January 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Mark Levin has been pointing this out every night for at least the past two weeks.

gh on January 22, 2012 at 12:04 PM

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