Skip to comments.Seven Reasons Why Newt Still Wins in Florida despite Poor Debate Performance
Posted on 01/29/2012 2:15:12 PM PST by Vigilanteman
Despite a bad debate performance in Tampa, Newt Gingrich will still make it over the finish line on Tuesday with about 3% to spare. The primaries will formally continue until at least Super Tuesday, but Gingrich needs to start thinking about the end game of defeating Obama in the fall sooner rather than later.
I don't mean to brag, but I predicted his easy win in South Carolina well before it happened. The only thing I was wrong about was the margin of his win: I predicted 8%. The actual result was 13%.
There are (at least) seven reasons why Newt will win in Florida. I'm giving you those reasons not as a Newt supporter-- I'm actually supporting Rick Santorum-- but as an informed observer.
Reason #1: The Newtzilla Factor. If you don't know what this is, go to the URL in the source. Jonah Goldberg explained it in National Review better than I could possibly hope to do. But if you are too lazy to read his article, the key is that nobody can beat the Newtzilla among conservatives except the Newtzilla himself. He didn't even come close with one sub-par debate performance.
Reason #2: Mitt Romney. He always underperforms his polling. You can argue over the reasons. Some claim it is religion. Others the likability factor. Still others, jealousy of his self-made success. You can pick out evidence to support any of these reasons or more. But it isn't important unless you are working for the Romney campaign and trying to massage his image. The string of elections he's run dating back to Massachussetts 18 years ago only supports this contention. So don't argue with the facts.
Reason #3: Money. Newt does not lack for it. While it might be a different story by the general election, he is not hurting for it now. In fact, when you count all of the Newt friendly PAC money, they have enough to run anti-Romney advertising in Pennsylvania right now. Our primary is not until the end of April. Romney and pro-Romney PAC's have not even started to run advertising here. While this doesn't necessary mean the Romney machine is running out of money, it does mean Newt's backers are not even close to that point.
Reason #4: Florida is still a southern state. Don't get me wrong. It is still one of the big three bellweather states in every presidential election in the last 120 years (Pennsylvania and Ohio being the other two)-- win all three and you cruise to election; win any two of the three and you still limp across the finish line. Florida also has a 20 year longer record of picking GOP nominees than does South Carolina. All of the state is, of course, not Newt's backyard as was South Carolina. But a significant portion of it is. And that is an advantage which Mitt Romney simply cannot claim outside of a few tony enclaves in Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Reason #5: Early voting. At one time, this favored Romney. Then Newtzilla swept through South Carolina. Those planning to vote early swung over to Gingrich in even greater margins than those planning to vote on election day. Most of them have already voted. They can't change their votes now even after Newt's poor debate performance.
Reason #6: National polls. Newt is still leading handily in the national polls, in the 6-8 point range. Florida pretty much mirrors national polls, although I am cutting his margin in half based on the poor Tampa debate performance and more recent polling data.
Reason #7: Immigration. I can't tell what Newt was thinking when he attacked Romney as being too harsh on immigration in Tampa. Mitt earns a pathetic C+ from NumbersUSA and equally mediocre marks from other groups pushing to limit Open Borders policies. Perhaps Newt was making a calculation that he would get more of a bump in a state with a large immigrant population to more than compensate from the backlash he would get from native voters in a state suffering from high unemployment. Perhaps, he was even right. Perhaps not. Such a remark from Rick Perry was the beginning of the end for his campaign just a few short months ago. But the field was crowded with Romney alternatives at that time. Not so now. So I think the damage to Newt will be minimal for the Florida primary, but it could come back to haunt him in the rust belt states. There is no way he is going to outbid Obama for a soft immigration policy in the general election, so he would be wise to apologise for the remarks as soon as possible after he wraps up the win in Florida. This will hurt him temporarily just as the admission on lying about having witnesses ready to counter what his ex-wife said in ABC's gotcha interview. But it won't keep him from getting the nomination.
I wish I had the money to fly to Florida and vote for Newt a few times to help him out. I think it’s too late to request some absentee ballots.
Let’s be honest here. Newts performance wasn’t bad, the moderator was. I think Newt showed class and restraint.
As Newt said today, “how do you debate someone who repeating lies and constantly attacking you with them”. Instead of debating the issueS Romney prefers trying to destroy Gingrich.
If there was a bad performance it was Blitzer and his co-hort Romney who failed.
From your keyboard to God’s ears!
Follow the social online communities.
Gingrich has the most mentions on Twitter in the past week.
As much as I want this to be the case, I’m not all that confident Newt will pull it out in FL.
If I lived there, I would definitely vote for him, however, and encourage all Florida FReepers to do so!
We have to do whatever we can to make sure we’re not stuck with Barack O’Romney this time around!
Newt will win, because he is like the father of the
yes siree bob, the A.S. is happening right now.
All good things come in their own time.. look at the
scenes again: Iowa, NH, SC, and now FL.. there are many
many more miles to go!
the American people are tired of phoney like 0
who promised Change, but in reality nothing happened.
Newt is the man with Big Bold ideas,
you will many industries will wake up from their long
sleep: natural gas & oil industries, infrastructures,
sci & tech, the lists go on.
Very interesting analysis, informedvanityman. Thanks.
Many of the polls reflect your concerns. We still have a lot of work to do.
But I would say that even if the polls showed Newt ahead. We can't let up until the day after election day if we're going to win this.
As Newt said today, how do you debate someone who repeating lies and constantly attacking you with them.
Newt’s going to need to learn how to do this for his debates with Obama next fall.
I fell out of my chair laughing when I read:
For whatever reason, Romney seems like a creature put on Earth to blend in with the humans and report back what he finds. He clearly likes earthlings, and they in turn find him pleasant enough, and surprisingly lifelike. Occasionally he finds the right words, but he rarely connects them to the right tone. This dearth of convincing passion in the front-runner makes the passionate base of the party want to look elsewhere even to Newtzilla.
Jonah Goldberg, "Newtzilla"
Thanks so much for this Post. We need all the encouragement we can get right now. Also, since 1980, FL has gone for the same candidate in their Primary that SC went for in theirs.
Check it out.
Here’s some more encouraging news. A Cuban American radio talk-show host says the Cuban vote in FL is breaking dramatically for Gingrich:
I do hope the author is correct.
He made a lot of sense, and I hope he’s right.
I tend to agree that Romney underperforms at the ballot box v. the polls. They called Newt up by 6 in SC and it ended up being 14.
The absentees will be a factor. The SC win for Newt was perfectly timed and he could have banked a ton of votes. The polls won’t reflect that.
I haven’t seen a recent poll with the undecideds. Even 20% undecided is signficant.
As much as he’d hate to lose the delegates, the MSM is overhyping a Romney blowout. If Romney squeaks it, the momentum ironically could likely shift to Newt.
Bottom line, Romney needs to win this big, and he’s playing to win big, going for the kill. It might be his undoing.
I hope you are right. This election cycle has been unlike any other. All bets are off and I think Newt will pull it out in Florida. Go tea partiers.
I am for Gingrich. but I think Gingrich must learn to and be prepared to debate the liar - in the general election he will debate the biggest liar of all time - obozo! (Unless obozo refuses to debate him, then he can follow him around and rebuttal without time restraints.)
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I hope that Rick Santorum polls strongly enough to emerge as a conservative alternative to Mitt Romney if Newt Gingrich falters.
Santorum only pulls conservatives from Newt allowing Romney to have a chance. Theres no way Santorum would get the nomination but if he doesnt drop out it will be his fault and those who support him who will be to blame should we end up with Romney.
Sometimes the conventional wisdom is right. Gingrich will lose Florida because the consensus of polls - independent, media, right-leaning (InsiderAdvantage), left-leaning (PPP) - all point to a substantial, outside-the-margin-of-error victory for Romney. It counterproductive at this point to focus your emotional energy on Florida, because the result will then lead you to despair.
Gingrich still has a fighting chance to win the majority of the delegates - 1,144. Look to upcoming states, e.g., Texas (144 delegates), the entire delegate-rich batch of Southern states, and even states such as Minnesota (40 delegates), where a recent PPP shows Gingrich at 36, Romney 18.
Get ready for long, protracted guerrilla warfare until the convention.
And send Newt some cash, if you can afford it.
There will be more TURNOUT than the 2010 elections. When it’s not close they can’t cheat!
Obama's moves this week coupled to his SOTU address are pushing voters Romney's way.
“For whatever reason, Romney seems like a creature put on Earth to blend in with the humans and report back what he finds. He clearly likes earthlings, and they in turn find him pleasant enough, and surprisingly lifelike. Occasionally he finds the right words, but he rarely connects them to the right tone. This dearth of convincing passion in the front-runner makes the passionate base of the party want to look elsewhere even to Newtzilla.”
I guess he reads my posts because I compared Mitt to the Coneheads.
Agreed, it was not a “bad performance”. If anything he was not as well prepared for some of Romneys attacks, which were far better presented than anything Willard has done in the past. Newt had some good moments and I’d give him a “C”.
He can’t go on the attack against the media every time. Wolfie pushed back and didn’t leave many openings.
All I wish is that Newt would have been more like Santorum, and that he’d repeated more often the basic principles of conservatism, which by the way, “works every time it’s tried”.
Perhaps he does? It is a great comparison!
Exactly why Santorum is smart to remain in the campaign. The Newtzilla has a history of shooting himself. Were that to happen now, we would be left with no alternative without Rick Santorum unless you count the moonbat Ron Paul.
You CAN help Newt out, by making phone calls from his national phone banks into Florida. 32 Florida Tea Parties have endorsed Newt here. The grassroots are trying to get out into the face-to-face, but there needs to be people picking up the slack on the phones. It is very easy. If you are shy, the first couple calls will be a little scary, and after that, you will sail.
PLEASE CALL FOR NEWT TODAY AND TOMORROW AND TUESDAY!!
If Newt was more like Rick Santorum, I would be supporting him rather than Rick Santorum.
Rick was my district's congressman for four years and my senator for 12. He isn't a perfect conservative, but he's about as good as this country can possibly elect.
I was especially disgusted by Newt's Hispandering. There is more than ample legitimate ammunition with which to attack Mitt Romney. Running to his left on immigration isn't one of them.
Last I checked, Marco Rubio was still supporting Romney anyway.
I wish this were true. But short of a miraculous last minute break, there isn’t a single poll out there that suggests Gingrich has a prayer in FL.
Jonah has a way with words summing up Mitt!
I think Newt will win Florida because he has the backing of the Tea Party. He embraced the Movement back in its infancy, long before it was “cool” to be a Tea Partier. While the RINO’s and Old Guard Republicans were calling them “kook-fringe extremists”, Gingrich was attending rallies and listening to their concerns. I think it will pay off for him big time in the Florida election. Because politically speaking, the Tea Party calls the shots in this state.
Santorum’s been pandering since day one with the social issues, primarily because his platform and his head are bereft of actual ideas for the country. I don’t comprehend the appeal of Santorum, especially the way he was willing to bash any conservative, from Cain on down, who stood in his way. He’s an opportunist and a fraud. Better he gets out before his presence gets a Romney win. There will never be another flowback to Santorum even if Newt fails. The reason is simple... Santorum is too generic. That’s why his fluke win in Iowa didn’t translate to a sustained front runner status, and people didn’t even take the time to slime him the way Newt has been slimed. That’s telling you something.
"And send Newt some cash, if you can afford it."Manning the phones wont hurt either.
those who support him who will be to blame should we end up with Romney."And we will damn sure remind then
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I dislike absentee ballots & early voting more & more each day.
Romney has been pandering to the absentee voters——& many votes- over 200,000 have already been cast in Florida before the debates there.
I wonder how many voters would change their vote after Mitt’s tax returns have been perused???
That alone would have changed my vote away from Mitt.
Santorum is not a viable national alternative, he will not win a national election for President.
Have you noticed that when Willard is not spouting off memorized lines and then often glancing down at his notepad, he studders and stammers and acts more like someone who dropped out of jr. high school than a Harvard grad? That’s another area where he’s alot like Barry Soreto. Like those that think Soreto is a rocket scientist, when in fact he’s your averate ghetto jive talking punk he when loses his teleprompter.
Willard the liberal ain’t much smarter. Newt NEVER stammers and studders and sounds like an idiot talking. He speaks with an average cadence, with precise thoughts and you can you can actually understand what he says. Santorum is also a good speaker. Paul speaks like he’s in the early stages of althimers. Romney, half the time, studders and stammers and speaks just like a security guard has just busted him for shoplifting. It’s funny as hell. Listen to him the next time he has to say something off-the-cuff. Its ah, ah, ah, and, and, and, ah, ah, ah.
Well, I live in Florida. Eight votes for Newt on Tuesday in the immediate family. Walked to my neighbors homes, 5 more there. We are doing all we can.
Oh, one more thing. Eighteen year old daughter in college registered republican this year will be bringing her two best friends, who hate what Obama has done, registered them republicans and is driving them to the polls. So, doing all we can.
One more thing, were all Americans of Cuban descent and can’t stand socialism/communism. That’s what Obama is all about. Romney is also too liberal.
Shouldn’t all debates from now on be held in an empty studio? That way, there would be no way for rabid partisans to color the viewers’ evaluation of the candidates’ responses. It might also keep the candidates (and the moderators) from playing to the audience at the expense of thoughtful, reasoned replies.
Just a thought.
Oh and the libtards hate Santorum with a passion. Especially the pink mafia. Go to any libtard website to see what they are saying about him. One reason he isn't being slimed is that there just isn't much to slime him with. He is a boring, reliable married family man with fairly predictable conservative positions. IOW, exactly what this country needs right now.