Republicans, he argues, must determine to stay focused, and not become distracted by issues that are not central to the campaign. “There’s the danger of getting sidetracked by shiny things,” he says, citing Arizona’s immigration law, or “the mosque in Manhattan.” These issues do not win new votes, “they only please voters you already have.” Mr. Norquist says: “Harry Reid is stapled at the forehead and the hip to Obama, and it’s hurting him. But Gingrich says the most important issue of the day is the mosque, and Reid gets new life out of it: ‘I strongly differ with the president’s statement on the mosque!’ It gives Democrats the chance to say, ‘I’m not like Obama!'”

Another distraction: “All the time and effort turned into rehabilitating George W. Bush. His former aides are out there arguing about who should get credit for the surge. What? . . . For those who believe Bush was doing something useful and central to jam it into the middle of this election—we lost the past two elections because independents didn’t like Bush!” The rehabilitation effort loses potential votes, wins no new ones, and distracts from central themes. Mr. Norquist offers a prediction: “Watch CBS try to get Bush family and friends to do interviews to insert Bush back into the campaign the weekend before the election.”