Skip to comments.Seven Reasons Newt Lost Florida (Despite My Prediction to the Contrary)
Posted on 02/01/2012 8:23:50 AM PST by Vigilanteman
As the guy who predicted here that Newt would pull out a narrow win in Florida, I have to admit I was wrong. Dead wrong.
This doesn't change the fact that I was dead right about Newt's upset win in South Carolina. All the pundits were predicting a close election or a narrow win for Newt. I was alone in predicting a blow-out. The only thing I was wrong about is UNDER estimating his margin of victory.
Not to make excuses, but I had sources on the ground in South Carolina. In Florida, I was limited to looking at news, polls and crunching numbers. So how could the results have been so different? Let's examine each reason:
Reason #1: The Newtzilla Factor. Jonah Goldberg's explanation still very much applies. It is just that the Newtzilla wounded himself far worse in the final debate that even I imagined. More on that when we get to Reason #7.
Reason #2: Mitt Romney. He didn't underperform his polling this time. In fact, he achieved actual results on the high end of his polling for the first time in his political career. Less than 24 hours after the primary, I am at a loss to explain it and it will require further analysis.
Reason #3: Money. Yes, I know Mitt vastly outspent Newt in Florida. But Newt still does not lack for money. His PACs are still buying anti-Romney ads in Pennsylvania and we don't vote until April 24. Money is definitely a factor, but how and where you spend it is even more important.
Reason #4: Florida is still a southern state. In the breakdown of exit polling shown here, Newt was polling 1% more of the large self-identified Evangelical voters than Mitt. One percent. He needed about 20% to win Florida. I don't have the resources to analyze why. But Newt needs to do so if he's going to turn his campaign around. Here's a guess: Knock off the attacks from the left on Bain Capital and immigration. The hard conservative vote (Free Republic readers) will forgive you because we know you (probably) don't mean it. For the remainer, not being Mitt Romney is just not good enough.
Reason #5: Early voting. Yes it was huge. But turnout on primary election voting day was even bigger. Bigger than in 2008. Bigger than most of the pundits predicted.
Reason #6: National polls. These reflected a big bounce from Newt's huge South Carolina win. There is a portion of the electorate which is always swayed by the bandwagon effect. And Newt was the front-runner after South Carolina. Not anymore. Those polls will tighten now. I've never understood this mentality. Logical thinker that I am, I'd vote for the candidate more likely to lose in a close election where all things were equal. But bandwagon voters, like feelings voters are more prevalent in a large mostly urban state somewhat insulated from reality than they are in a smaller mostly rural state which has to face reality head-on.
Reason #7: Immigration. This really comes into focus when you look at the results of Hispanic voters. It's all Romney, even an absolute majority which crosses the 50% barrier. Some might dismiss this by pointing to the popularity of Marco Rubio, a Romney backer. Others by saying Hispanics like free stuff from the government.
Either would be a mistake. Notice Mitt drew more from Cuban-American Hispanics than non-Cuban-American Hispanics. Cubans are the more conservative subset of the two.
Let me suggest the real reason was Newt's attack from the left in the last debate about Romney's suggestion of self-deportation. Legal Americans of Hispanic descent are not so hung-up on non-enforcement of our immigration laws as the La Raza crowd. In fact, they would like to see more enforcement. These people came here legally, worked hard, appreciate the advantages which America has to offer and are more interested in contributing to America than they are in getting free stuff like the La Raza crowd. It is a hard concept for politicians steeped in the ways of Washington to understand. Newt will need to understand it and learn it if he is going to reverse positions with the new front runner.
When Newt first began to respond to the Mitt Super-Pac negative ads, I commented that if Newt decided to become his own hatchet man that it would hurt him with the voters. Mitt’s Super-Pac might have started the negative ads in a big way, but when Newt began to retaliate personally during the debates, that hurt him.
The reality seems to be that candidates can benefit from negative campaigning if done by others or in ads, but can be hurt if done by the candidate himself.
Look for the rest of the south to go to Newt. Other than for the northen part of FL which is what is left of the American south is the only part that went to Newt.
Okay, here’s one thing I can’t get out of my head today.
The Romney campaign blatantly modeled the playbook of Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals 101. Target your enemy, Freeze it and then Destroy it(paraphrase).
So lemme get this straight. The pro Mittens groupies/Fla.voters are okay with that. THE GOP-E is fine with it. WTH doesn’t someone call them out for what they really are: Chicago thugs?
What is happening in our society when we are so desensitized to behavior like this that we are supposed to ignore it or sanction it under the guise of being acceptable for the sake of winning at all costs by leveling a fellow Republican?
I want to see the vote counts with the early voting subbed for EACH and also stripped out.
I just can’t imagine the Cuban conservatives going so hard for Mitt.
I don’t get it, OR what you said about it.
Newt needs a good strategy session that will narrow down the goals, and drive them home from there.
If he wants to go after Romney, there's plenty of ammo to choose from via his record as governor. Contrast it. Show how many jobs were created in the mid 90s and compare it to the job creation in Mass when Mitt was gov. But, I would hope he lays off the Bain stuff and the Kosher food robo-calls.
We took a lump or 4 last night, but due to 1/2 the delegates being stripped this was not anywhere near a mortal blow to his campaign. Florida's neighbor to the north has, what, 76 delegates?
Newt must refocus, listen to some fresh campaign ideas, and make the majority of the push about Newt and his vision to make this country better. I expect him to go after Mitt, but Newt must give America a reason to vote for him, and not just be a reason to vote against Mitt.
Most people have no idea how the are manipulated, what a meme is how it is used etc. Alinsky’s methods work. But it is up to us whether we use than for good or evil.
Do you happen to have any contact information for Herman?
seven reasons??? there are over 2 million reasons, and they would be the lazy asses that did not go and vote.. period... end of discussion
Most voters like tough, smart Newt. They’d don’t like mean, mad Newt.
Ha.. no. :) I'm not that far up the food chain for that info. For that matter, any food chain. :)
Reason #8: Gender gap. Newt thought he dodged that bullet in SC for good. Guess what, he didn’t, and it will be even more of a factor in the general.
I am a Newt supporter, but I don’t think having our candidate “attack from the left” is what people on this site are looking for.
I can. A lot of them are fed up with illegal immigration. Creating incentives for self-deportation is one of the most effective ways to combat it. Newt was stupid to attack Mitt Romney for making this suggestion, particularly when there is so much legitimate ammo.
I'm not sure how you are going to strip out the votes for early versus same day voting. They all get mixed together in the end. About the only way I can imagine it would happen is to get a representative sample of early voters from exit polling or phone interviews. I just don't see an accurate way to do that without spending a ton of money. It would be like sampling absentee voters. Its just not going to happen with existing technologies.
All Freepers need to go to other sites once in awhile to see what people other than hard conservatives are thinking. In most cases, it will convince you that we are more right than ever, but it will at least give you some added perspective. I'm not suggesting just nominally conservative sites like Drudge or Michael Savage, but even far left sites.
Of course, I'd avoid something like Democrat Underground as it borders on pornographic. LiberalsAreCool.Com, on the other hand, gives you a pretty good perspective of their upside down thinking without the sewer pipe.
You will eventually see some of the arguments made here make it into the enemedia just as you will see arguments made on Free Republic make it into the conservative media.
Here are the cumulative vote figures to date from an excel file I am keeping and updating after each primary/caucus:
|At large Dels||18||2||1||0||0||0||0||21|
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