We’ve got another round of polling out of Florida showing that Mitt Romney is poised for a big win. Just a week ago it seemed that momentum was in Newt Gingrich’s corner, but two bad debate performances and a couple of gaffes, including one that brought Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) out of his isolation to stick up for Romney, badly hurt him.
Here’s a look at the latest polling going back to those that were released at the beginning of last week. these show the dramatic swing from Gingrich to Romney in just a few days time.
In just a couple of days, Newt Gingrich went from the likely winner of Tuesday’s primary in Florida to the underdog. So what has caused support to swing away from him and back to Mitt Romney? Well, a few things. Many Republicans are coming out to criticize Gingrich for various things, such as his time as Speaker of the House and his criticism of Ronald Reagan. Then there was the bad press he received as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) took up for Romney when Gingrich compared him to Charlie Crist.
As you can see in the poll numbers that came out yesterday, a couple of days makes a world of difference in politics.
Since taking on Charlie Crist in the the Florida Senate race last year, Marco Rubio, who would go on to win the general election, has been regarded as a rock star in the conservative movement. With that comes a lot of influence, particularly among conservatives in his home state given that he could boost his party’s ticket.
So if you’re a candidate running in his state, you’d probably want to stay on his good side; but there is a right and wrong way to go about that. Apparently, Newt Gingrich is learning this lesson the hard way.
Gingrich, who is leading in most polls out of Florida, has been comparing himself to Rubio and Mitt Romney to Crist as a way to further peg his opponent as an anti-conservative. Rubio is apparently unhappy with what he see as an inaccurate comparison, as Jennifer Rubin explains:
We all know that Mitt Romney’s heath insurance reform plan, the centerpiece of which was the individual mandate, became the blueprint for ObamaCare. This source of much skepticism from conservatives and the Tea Party movement, and rightfully so.
For all of his faults, Romney isn’t the only Republican running to push for punitive taxes for those who haven’t purchased health insurance coverage.In fact, when Romney introduced the plan in 2005, the Boston Herald noted that Romney was “allying himself with influential conservatives such as former US House speaker Newt Gingrich, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, and the Washington, D.C.-based Heritage Foundation.”
The implication here is that Romney was coming to an idea that Gingrich was already backing (note the archived footage from 1993 in the video below). And it’s apparently one that Gingrich still holds. During his ill-fated interview with David Gregory on Meet the Press last May, Gingrich made it clear that he’s “said consistently we ought to have some requirement that you either have health insurance or you post a bond or in some way you indicate you’re going to be held accountable”:
While thousands of left-leaning folks took to the street last year to decry corporatism via the Occupy movement, many have managed to miss the corporatism of the left.
MapLight has conducted an analysis of campaign contributions from key industry groups to members of the U.S. Senate (July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2011) and found that:
- Entertainment interest groups that support these bills gave 7.2 times as much ($14,423,991) to members of the U.S. Senate as Internet interest groups that oppose these bills ($2,011,332).
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has received 4.8 times as much from entertainment interest groups that support these bills ($571,500) as from Internet interest groups that oppose these bills ($118,050).
Now, is’nt that just fascinating?
Next Tuesday evening, President Barack Obama will deliver his fourth State of the Union address — and hopefully, his last. While we don’t yet know the themes and issues that Obama will discuss, we got a hint of what is to come in the Republican response as House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will counter Obama’s address:
In a statement, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised Daniels as “a fierce advocate for smaller, less costly and more accountable government” and said that he “has the record to prove it.”
“For making tough choices and keeping his promises, Mitch Daniels is the right choice at the right time to deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s address,” Boehner added.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called Daniels “an eloquent spokesman for limited government” and said that he “knows that President Obama’s three-year experiment in big government has made our economy worse and our future more uncertain, and he knows that Americans want a government that’s simpler, streamlined and secure.”
“He is a forceful advocate of pro-growth policies like fundamental tax reform, regulatory reform and energy security,” McConnell said. “And he is the right choice to explain the challenges we face and to outline a hopeful, common-sense vision for moving America forward by growing the economy, not the national debt.”
With just a couple of days to go until the South Carolina Republican primary, we’re seeing some movement of the anti-Romney vote in the state back to Newt Gingrich as Rick Santorum falls back to earth.
This is reflected in several surveys, but to show you the numbers, here is a look at the last four polls out of South Carolina conducted by Rasmussen, who has done the most frequent polling in the state.
|1/18||31%||33% ||11% ||15% ||2%|
|1/12||28%||28% ||16%||16% ||6% |
What is exactly is happening to cause this second Gingrich surge? While Romney benefited from a fractured conservative base and many Republican voters accepting the “inevitably” of his nomination, recent strong debate performances and questions about Santorum’s fiscal conservatism and electability are bringing anti-Romney vote back into a one camp.
Gingrich will no doubt be aided by Perry’s withdrawal and endorsement even though his numbers weren’t all that great. The fiasco in Iowa, a state that Santorum seems to have now won — though some ballots have been lost, has showed us that every vote matters in this election. As I noted earlier, Perry’s supporters may just be what pushes Gingrich over the top in South Carolina.
CNN is reporting that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will drop out of the race for the Republican nomination today, just a couple of days ahead of the South Carolina primary, and endorse Newt Gingrich:
Rick Perry is telling supporters that he will drop his bid Thursday for the Republican presidential nomination, two sources familiar with his plans told CNN.
The Texas governor will make the announcement before the CNN debate in South Carolina, the sources said.
It was incredibly unlikely, given his poor debate performances and gaffes, that Perry would be able to make a comeback in the race. Perry had hoped for a decent showing in South Carolina, but polls there had showed him at the bottom of the pack.
Many influential conservatives had been calling on Perry to drop out of the race so the anti-Romney vote could coalesce behind Gingrich, who has been surging in South Carolina in recent days (I’ll have more on that later today).
Given Perry’s numbers may not be significant, but it could be just enough to put Gingrich over the top on Saturday.
At Outside the Beltway, Doug Mataconis argues that Republicans will lose in November if they continue insisting that Obama is some kind of evil, radical socialist intent on destroying the United States. Doug thinks that the GOP nominee (Romney, in Doug’s view) should instead focus on making the election a referendum on Obama’s management ability:
Mitt Romney has a chance to beat Obama, but he’s not going to do it if the GOP and the conservative punditocracy makes 2012 about how evil Barack Obama supposedly is. If he wins, he will win for the same reason that Ronald Reagan did in 1980, because they made the election about the management ability of the incumbent, and the public decided they’d had enough. You can’t do that if you’re so consumed by hatred for that incumbent that you can’t see clearly.
I both agree and disagree with Doug. I agree that portraying Obama as a radical Kenyan socialist, or even a European-style socialist, isn’t going to work for Republicans. As Doug points out, Sarah Palin tried this tactic in ‘08 as John McCain’s running mate and voters rejected it. Besides, Obama is neither a Kenyan- nor a European-style socialist. He’s an American progressive and voters elected him largely because he was a progressive. They chose Obama’s progressivism over the inept big government conservatism they had seen in practice for the previous eight years under the Bush administration. When Republicans insist that Obama is a radical socialist, they’re implying that voters were too stupid in ‘08 to see Obama for what he really was. They shouldn’t be surprised if voters don’t warm up to the suggestion that they’re all idiots.