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Gallup: Gingrich’s voters split evenly between Romney and Santorum as second choice
Hotair ^ | 03/16/2012 | Allahpundit

Posted on 03/16/2012 8:06:44 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

So Newt was right. Him dropping out to "help" Santorum would backfire by boosting Romney's chances of clinching a majority of delegates before the convention.

Second look at Newt staying in the race to gratify his delusions of grandeur about being chosen as a consensus nominee at a brokered convention?

Some conservative Republicans have called for Gingrich to drop out of the race on the assumption that conservative primary voters would then unite behind Santorum as the conservative alternative to the more moderate Romney. But Gallup data indicate that Gingrich voters would not be likely to coalesce behind Santorum, suggesting that factors other than candidate ideology may be attracting voters to Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney.

Gallup can simulate Republican preferences without Gingrich in the race by removing Gingrich votes and reassigning them to his voters' second-choice candidate. The results of this procedure suggest that national GOP preferences would change little if Gingrich dropped out. The reconfigured preferences show Romney getting 40% of the vote and Santorum getting 33%. That seven-percentage-point Romney lead is essentially the same as the six-point (34% to 28%) Romney lead in March 8-15 interviewing with Gingrich support included.

Romney takes 40 percent of Newt's voters versus 39 percent for Santorum. As noted yesterday, when Fox News polled a hypothetical head to head race between Romney and Santorum a few days ago, they found Mitt leading 49/44. Has there been any poll to date showing a surge for Team Sweater Vest if Gingrich drops out? If not, then the best argument for Newt quitting isn’t that it would help stop Romney but rather that by staying in he’s needlessly impeding the coronation of a candidate who is, unfortunately, inevitable. If you want to beat Obama and think there’s no way realistically that Romney, as the leader in delegates, won’t be chosen at a brokered convention, then your best option now is to hope that the field clears ASAP so that he can concentrate on the general.

Newt, of course, is not in the “Romney is inevitable” camp:

It’s a complicated bet. But they believe that in a contested-convention scenario, and perhaps only then, the usual presidential metrics — money, momentum — will mean little, and it’ll come down to a damaged moderate versus a tested warrior.

“Newt is no shrinking violet,” says Katon Dawson, an adviser to Winning Our Future, a pro-Gingrich super PAC. “His whole life, nothing has every come easy to him. I’ve known him for many years. He’s having a good time running for president. He’s not going to end this.”

“Remember, these conventions are odd animals,” Dawson says. “If nobody gets this thing on the first ballot, all hell will start breaking loose. If you start to think about who wins debates, and then think about Gingrich getting up there, in that moment, talking about his life and why he should be president of the United States, you can see it.”

Explain to me why the guy who finishes a distant third would ever be considered as a compromise choice at a brokered convention. The only argument I can see is if you had someone who looked extremely electable against Obama compared to the top two vote-getters. Imagine Pawlenty, say, in Newt’s position here; moderates in Romney’s camp and social cons in Santorum’s camp might see him as an acceptable alternative given that he’s sufficiently bland to turn the general election into a pure referendum on Obama. Needless to say, that’s not what we have in Gingrich:

The numbers for all three are lame compared to McCain’s(!) but if enthusiasm is the name of the game — and it would be after a brokered convention that threatened to shatter the party — then the third-place candidate here is your last choice, not your first. In fact, these numbers are tepid enough that if the primary drags on and enthusiasm for all three sinks accordingly, it makes the possibility of a dark-horse nominee marginally higher. How much worse could a Christie or Ryan do here compared to the rest?

Exit question via the Atlantic: Has Romney run a bad campaign? I honestly don’t know how to answer it. On the one hand, he’s got the best organization and the best fundraising by a country mile. On the other hand, he’s facing two has-beens running barebones operations and is still struggling to win. On the other other hand, it’s astounding that a candidate as widely disliked and distrusted by the base as Romney has the pole position on the nomination. He’s actually done better than McCain in a majority of the primaries held so far. The only reason he’s off the pace in terms of delegates is because, as Jay Cost explains, the GOP delegate calendar was frontloaded in 2008 (replete with some early winner-take-all states) whereas this year it’s a slower, steadier distribution. To borrow a March Madness analogy, if a three seed plays a ten seed in the Final Four, leads wire to wire, and ends up winning by, say, five points, did they play a “good game”? Granted, they didn’t have to play Duke and they shouldn’t have had to sweat for the win, but they got it done under pressure.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: gallup; gingrich; romney; santorum
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To: alstewartfan
Oh really. Then what do you call the millions spent attacking Rick in every state by Milt and his white shirted followers?

Easy to forget how much went out against Newt in the ealy runnings, which lamed him and kept him down. Romney goes after them sequentially and now its time for him to cut the legs from under Rick. Your guy isn't so special that he gets the brunt of the attacks now, he just wasn't ready for prime time from the beginning.

21 posted on 03/17/2012 3:54:37 AM PDT by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: Waryone

Great post, but many will not see the forest for the trees.

22 posted on 03/17/2012 4:14:05 AM PDT by dontgivein
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To: RitaOK

Rick works for Mitt. Or the gop.....He’s this season’s huckleberry, not meant to do anything but line up religious conservatives, denying the nomination to a real conservative. Not to worry, Mitt’ll make him his vp.

23 posted on 03/17/2012 4:22:43 AM PDT by cb
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To: Waryone

Well said. Whoever came up with this nefarious “fiscal/social” conservative split was no friend of conservatism. And I love the quotes from the FF. They were very wise, and the further we stray from their wisdom the further we go from true freedom (which is not libertinism). The spurious “freedom” from morality agenda being pushed now is merely to divert the stupid from the loss of true freedom of self-determination of one’s entire life where it matters. Bread and circuses.

24 posted on 03/17/2012 6:42:54 AM PDT by mrsmel
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To: mrsmel
The spurious “freedom” from morality agenda being pushed now is merely to divert the stupid from the loss of true freedom of self-determination of one’s entire life where it matters. Bread and circuses.

You wonder at what point Santorum will get he's been set up to make this primary and election a religious morality one....rather than lazer in on Obamas failures.

However Santorum has always run on his "moral" isssues and heavily so he'll continue to speak to those for that is what he knows.

Unfortunately by doing so he galvanizes the Democratic voters who would otherwise not vote.....they aren't about to let a "preacher" dictate to them what morals they must abide by.

25 posted on 03/17/2012 6:55:41 AM PDT by caww
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To: Clintonfatigued; All


26 posted on 03/17/2012 7:42:23 AM PDT by GOPsterinMA (The Establishment is the establishment.)
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To: Christie at the beach
Well, the elections since 2008 have seemed a bit cartoonish to me. The Democrats have always seemed like loony tunes and the GOP is starting to look a bit absurd as well. In 2008, the voters elected Daffy Duck. For whatever reason, the voters here seem to prefer Gilligan over the professor. Go figure.

The Left also has a huge problem with denial (the "Intellectual Progressives" are actually irrational and regressive). But the Right also has something of a problem with denial as has been demonstrated to a degree here on FR. It's useless for conservatives to have the kind of attitude of “He’s my guy so it’s a lie what they say about him” (it may be a lie, but it’s not because he’s my guy) or “He’s my guy so it’s a lie that the odds are high he’ll lose.” One of the strong points of true conservatism is looking at reality unflinchingly and dealing with it reasonably and rationally. We lose when what's happening is so abhorrent to us that we simply deny it.

Odds are greatly in favor of Romney at this point (BTW I'm a Palin/Cain/Perry/Gingrich man myself). It looks like the best chance of beating those odds are for Santorum to pick Gingrich as his VP running mate. Gingrich may refuse, but at that point it would start to look to me more like ego than anything.

27 posted on 03/17/2012 8:12:51 AM PDT by PapaNew
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To: trebb

One of the reasons I despise Milt is b/c of his ruthless attacks on Newt, esp. the lie saying that he resigned in disgrace. I have always agreed more with Santorum than Newt, however. Just b/c he is youthful-looking, don’t consider Rick to be anything short of a tough-as-nails man. He has what it takes to attack the Marxist on ALL issues, including the AGW hoax, TARP and Obamacare. Bob

28 posted on 03/17/2012 10:56:00 AM PDT by alstewartfan ( 27 of 36 Romney judicial appointments were DEMOCRATS!!!!!)
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To: alstewartfan

I pray you are right about Rick. I’m for Newt, but Rick’s the only other guy still standing I would vote for. Where many folks have gut feelings that make them ignore Newt’s strong points in favor of hating him, I have similar gut feelings that make me nervous about Rick - don’t hate him though.

29 posted on 03/17/2012 11:04:53 AM PDT by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
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To: Clintonfatigued; BillyBoy; GOPsterinMA; fieldmarshaldj; AuH2ORepublican

That defies previous polling and the results of the MO primary where Gingrich was not on that ballot and Santorum crushed Romney.

If this poll is accurate then perhaps that means Santorum has been damaged by all the attacks against him.

Newt’s support is pretty non-existent in most states.

30 posted on 03/18/2012 11:58:17 PM PDT by Impy (Don't call me red.)
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To: douginthearmy

LOL. The article said 40% would likely support Romney if Gingrich dropped out. I’m sure Jim is in the other 60% that
would not support Romney.

31 posted on 03/19/2012 9:22:42 PM PDT by tennmountainman
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