Archive for the ‘Newt Gingrich’ Category

QUICKIE MATH: Delegate Math Not Looking as Good for Mitt as Team Romney Wants Us to Believe

Team Romney is telling the world Mitt’s got a lock on the GOP nomination.

Romney says he’s piled up too many delegates (409) for Rick Santorum (163 delegates) to overcome.  The number they throw out is that Santorum would have to win 63% of the remaining delegates to win the GOP nomination outright.

But hold on a second.

Let’s look at the math a bit closer.

For one thing, Rick’s 163 delegate total does not include Missouri (52 delegates) — a state Rick won the statewide beauty contest vote in a landslide.  Missou’s delegates are officially awarded later in a complicated process.  But Rick figures to get almost all of them.  So that takes Rick to around 200 delegates right there.

Now consider these facts . . .

Mitt Romney has won just 55% of the delegates so far. Less if we count Missouri.  And we’re only one-third of the way through the process.

If Mitt is held to winning just 47% of the remaining delegates, he does not get the 1,144 delegates he needs to secure the nomination.  That’s not much slippage — not much margin for error for Mitt.

Then when you look at the primary and caucus calendar coming up, the terrain does not look so favorable to Romney.

States where Rick Santorum should do well include: KS (40 delegates),  AL (50), MISS (40), LA (46), PA (72), NC (55). WV (31), NE (35), OR (28), KY (45), ARK (36), TX (155), SD (28), MT (26).  (Delegates in parens)

The two big states that look favorable to Romney are California and New York.  But New York awards delegates proportionally.  So Santorum should win a lot of delegates upstate and in the rural areas.

Mitt will win big in Manhattan and wealthy New York City suburbs like New Rochelle and the Hampstons. But does anyone really know how Republican primary voters in places like Brooklyn and the Bronx will vote? I certainly don’t.

And California awards delegates by Congressional district.  So Santorum could quite easily win 40% of the delegates in both California and New York state.  Even if Santorum wins only 30% of those delegates, that’s still not good for Mitt. We’ll give Romney states like New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Utah, Illinois, and perhaps New Mexico.

If you add all this up, it’s tough to see Romney wrapping up the GOP nomination before the end of June, if at all.

Admittedly, Rick also will also have a tough time getting the 1,144 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination.  As Team Romney keeps pointing out, Rick would need to win 63% of the remaining delegates (again, less if you count Missou’s 52 delegates, which Rick figures to win).

Remember, both Newt and Ron Paul have delegates as well — Newt  111; Paul 60.  And Newt will continue to pick up delegates in the deep south for as long as he stays in the race.

So it will be tough for Rick to get the 1,144 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination outright.  But it’s looking almost as tough for Mitt to get to the number he needs.

Also, to say it’s a longshot for Rick to get 63% of the remaining delegates is like saying it’s a longshot for the New York Giants to get 63% of the remaining points in the football game when they’re only half way through the second quarter.  It happens all the time.

Rick will win today in Kansas — will probably take almost all the delegates (40).  That win alone in combination with the 52 delegates he’ll take most of in Missou takes him within striking distance of Mitt.

UPDATE: Rick won Kansas with 53% of the vote. He’ll likely end up with all or almost all of the state’s 40 delegates. The rest of the vote was split between the other three candidates, all far behind. So this will take Rick up to about 240 delegates.

Now we have Alabama and Mississippi coming up on Tuesday, with Rick now having Mojo after his win  in Kansas.  So it’s very easy to see momentum swing quickly toward Rick. Once the momentum swings, it’s hard to stop.

How many times have you watched teams lose football games in the fourth quarter after they go into a “prevent defense” to try to protect a lead?

Happens all the time.

Then if Newt were to have a poor showing on Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi, it’s possible he’ll either drop out or become a non-factor the rest of the way.  This would leave Rick as the clear conservative alternative to the Massachusetts Moderate.  Newt would then not be siphoning all those votes away from Santorum.

Rick would finally have the one-on-one race with Mitt he really needs to have a realistic chance to win.

Let’s face it. Mitt has been extraordinarily lucky to have two strong conservatives in the race splitting the conservative vote — Santorum taking the lion’s share of the conservative vote, but Newt taking enough votes from Rick to deny Rick key victories.

But Romney, even when he wins, has a tough time getting more than 40 percent.

Romney got less than 60% of the vote in Virginia where his only other opponent in the race was Ron Paul (because Rick and Newt failed to qualify to get on the ballot).

Remember, if Newt had not been in the race the past few weeks, Rick would have won both Michigan and Ohio decisively, probably Georgia as well.  And Rick would be sitting in the catbird seat right now.

This can still happen.  Might happen after this week.

Santorum holds 4 point lead over Romney in Michigan

Rick Santorum is holding onto a 4 point lead over Mitt Romney in Michigan, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey out this morning.

Newt Gingrich has suggested that if Romney can’t win Michigan (the state he grew up in where his dad was Governor), Mitt should drop out of the race.

Mitt has rolled out an avalanche of attack ads against Rick and has an enormous money advantage. So this will be a tough state for Rick to hold.  If Rick does win Michigan, Newt is probably right. Mitt should drop out.  There would be no further rationale for his candidacy.

The all-important Michigan primary is next Tuesday, Feb 28.

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How Newt Can Help Rick . . . By Staying in the Race

The conventional wisdom is that Newt and Rick are splitting the conservative vote; and that this helps Mitt.

That’s certainly been true in the early primaries and caucuses.

But it might not be true now.

Conservative voters now appear to be lining up behind Rick.

Newt appears to be on the wane as a national candidate. He’ll probably win Georgia and might take some more southern states (perhaps even Texas).  But it doesn’t look like he has a serious has a chance to win the nomination.

Rick Santorum has emerged as the clear conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

Rick’s now won four states, Mitt just three. Newt has won one.

So now Rick, no doubt, will be the target of Mitt’s carpet bombing of negative ads.

Mitt has no message. He’s running a content-free campaign.

Mitt’s main message to voters seems to be: The other guy’s even worse than me.

That message is wearing thin.  Voters are on to him. The barrage of negative ads he’s no doubt cranking up against Santorum, I predict, will backfire.

They worked against Newt because, let’s face it, Newt’s far from perfect on a number of fronts. He’s super smart. I love listening to him. He’s always interesting.  But he does have some baggage.

But I don’t think Mitt’s Smear Campaign, Scorched Earth approach will work against Mr. Nice Guy Rick.

Everyone likes Rick.  Even those who disagree with everything he stands for think he’s a great guy and just about the best Family Man who has ever lived — someone who walks his talk, who lives what he believes.

But Rick risks damaging his Mr. Nice Guy image if he retaliates in kind against Gutter Politics Mitt.

This is where Attack Dog Newt now helps Rick.

Rick can keep to the high road — a big reason why voters like him. His favorability ratings among GOP voters are in the upper 70s, while Newt’s and Mitt’s favorables are in the 40s, or lower.

If Newt stays in the race, he can just latch onto Mitt’s pants leg Georgia Bulldog style and never let go, while Rick can stay on the high road and mostly ignore the mud wrestling match between Mitt and Newt.

Newt can counter Mitt’s sleazy attacks on Rick, point out the inaccuracies in Mitt’s ads, continue to call him a Massachusetts Liberal, etc — while Rick continues his Reaganesque Happy Warrior approach.

This could be a wonderful winning combo that takes out Mitt.

Plus, we can’t be 100% sure how Rick plays in the South.  He hasn’t done so well there so far.

He’s done well in the Heartland.  He’s also proven he can win in the West with his Colorado win.

But we really don’t know how Rick plays in the South.

It’s possible Newt actually blocks Mitt in the South — sucks up potential delegates Mitt might otherwise get.

I don’t really think that’s the case.  On paper, Rick’s socially conservative positions and devout Christian faith should play well in the South.  But you never know. He hasn’t proved it yet.

But if Newt wins states like South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, those are at least delegates Mitt doesn’t get.  So Rick and Newt really might work best as a team — Rick taking the Midwest and parts of the West, while Newt takes the South.

Newt and Rick can then get together and, maybe, decide who wins the nomination.  Their combined delegates might well be more than Mitt’s. Newt and Rick then become the convention brokers.

Then if you throw Ron Paul’s delegates into the mix, Mitt has a real math problem.

The goal here is to stop Massachusetts Liberal Mitt from sewing up the nomination. Then let the cards fall where they may. I’m sensing the cards are falling in Rick’s direction. But I’m also happy with Newt.

One thing’s for certain: The more voters learn about Mitt, the more they see him in action, the less they like Mitt. Rick might well win outright if his gathering momentum continues. But more and more, it’s starting to look like a brokered convention, with Mitt the odd man out.

We’ll just call Mitt “Mr. 35%.”

These are the people who vote for Mitt because they’ve been told he’s the most electable.

But that number declines dramatically the more voters see how truly unelectable he is — that is, the more he loses primaries and caucuses to candidates who have no money, no organization, and who can’t afford to run any ads, like Rick Santorum.

Maybe message can trump Establishment money after all.

Thank God for this long nomination process, where the delegates are awarded proportionally before April. This gives voters a real chance to see the candidates, to test their metal. More and more, Mitt’s armor of supposed invincibility appears to be made of Swiss Cheese.

Rush Limbaugh: Mitt Romney Is A ‘Stranger To Fundamental Conservatism’

I really have no interest in voting for Mitt Romney — Obama Lite.

Seriously, what’s the point? We now have a choice between getting on a train that’s speeding rapidly toward the Socialist Cliff of Bankruptcy, Poverty and Misery . . . and the Romney train that’s moving at a slower pace toward that same cliff.

We are still moving in the same direction.

Not much of a choice. I guess the slow train to destruction of America is better than the fast train.

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Mitt ran 65 TV ads for ever 1 ad Newt ran in Florida

There’s really no way Newt can win in a big media market with this kind of advertising spending imbalance

ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Juiced by super PACs, this year’s presidential contest has seen a 1600 percent increase in interest-group sponsored ads over 2008, according to a study by the Wesleyan Media Project of Middletown, Conn.

At 8:00:01 EST, Fox News and CNN both will race to declare Florida for Mitt Romney, the re-annointed frontrunner. (This assumes some discretion on the part of the networks, given that some of the state’s Panhandle is on Central time.) While you wait, consider the following – also from the Wesleyan Media Project:

Even though Romney has not been on the airwaves as much as he was in 2008, his campaign and its allies have dominated the airwaves in Florida, airing almost 13,000 ads on broadcast television across the state, as of Wednesday, the 25th…[Newt] Gingrich and his interest-group allies have aired only about 200 spots, with [Ron]Paul and [Rick] Santorum out of the broadcast television game.

That’s a 65:1 ratio. Unless that disparity closed in the final six days, 20 percent might be pretty good for Gingrich tonight.

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Reaganomics architect Art Laffer says Newt’s tax plan much better than Mitt’s

ART LAFFER-WALL STREET JOURNAL: If we judge both leading contenders in the Republican primary, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, by what they’ve done in life and by what they propose to do if elected, either one could be an excellent president. But when it comes to the election’s core issue—restoring a healthy economy—the key is a good tax plan and the ability to implement it.

Mr. Gingrich has a significantly better plan than does Mr. Romney, and he has twice before been instrumental in implementing a successful tax plan on a national level—once when he served in Congress as a Reagan supporter in the 1980s and again when he was President Clinton’s partner as speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1990s. During both of these periods the economy prospered incredibly—in good part because of Mr. Gingrich.

Jobs and wealth are created by those who are taxed, not by those who do the taxing. Government, by its very nature, doesn’t create resources but redistributes resources. To minimize the damages taxes cause the economy, the best way for government to raise revenue is a broad-based, low-rate flat tax that provides people and businesses with the fewest incentives to avoid or otherwise not report taxable income, and the least number of places where they can escape taxation. On these counts it doesn’t get any better than Mr. Gingrich’s optional 15% flat tax for individuals and his 12.5% flat tax for business. Each of these taxes has been tried and tested and found to be enormously successful.

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Great Stuff! Newt uses George Soros to Go After Mitt with Robo Calls

Richard Miniter Examines the Question: Is Mitt Really Electable?

RICHARD MINITER-FORBES: Romney has never won a majority (50% or better) of Republican primary or caucus voters. And, two-thirds of the time, he has had to spend vast sums just to claim the number two spot.

Tomorrow’s GOP primary in Florida may change that—but it won’t settle the issue of Romney’s electability. Romney enjoys leads in polls ranging from between five to 15 points. But he and his super-PACs had to spend more than $15 million in television advertising and millions more in radio spots and targeted mailings. If anything, Romney’s price per vote is rising—an unsustainable model given campaign-finance limits.

Meanwhile, Romney’s heavily negative advertising only drives Tea Party activists and other conservatives from one non-Romney candidate to another. Divide and conquer is a storied strategy; it may well work in Florida. But it doesn’t build votes for Romney. The non-Romney vote–despite millions of dollars, months of media coverage and dozens of debates—remains stubbornly north of 60% among Republican voters. If Romney is going to defeat Obama, he will have to unite the Grand Old Party behind him. So far, there is no evidence is any state that he can do just that.

Indeed, Romney’s nomination presents the real risk of a third-party presidential challenger, a candidate who hopes to hoover up libertarians, Tea Partiers and conservatives disaffected with Romney. Sure, that candidate would win, at most, 2% of the vote—but that percentage would be enough to swing the election to Obama.

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The intellectually flawless Thomas Sowell defends Newt against Romney’s smears

THOMAS SOWELL: The Republican establishment is pulling out all the stops to try to keep Newt Gingrich from becoming the party’s nominee for President of the United States — and some are not letting the facts get in their way.

Among the claims going out through the mass media in Florida, on the eve of that state’s primary election, is that Newt Gingrich “resigned in disgrace” as Speaker of the House of Representatives, as a result of unethical conduct involving the diversion of tax-exempt money. Mitt Romney is calling on Gingrich to release “all of the records” from the House of Representatives investigation.

But the Wall Street Journal of January 28, 2012 reported that these records — 1,280 pages of them — are already publicly available on-line. Although Speaker Gingrich decided not to take on the task of fighting the charge from his political enemies in 1997, the Internal Revenue Service conducted its own investigation which, two years later, exonerated Gingrich from the charges. His resignation was not due to those charges and occurred much later.

Do the Romney camp and the Republican establishment not know this, a dozen years later? Or are they far less concerned with whether the charges will stand up than they are about smearing Gingrich on the eve of the Florida primaries?

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GANNETT POLL has Newt Leading in FLA . . . 35.46% to 35.08%

Poll Sample Size: 2,567 likely voters (a larger sample than all other polls)

Romney’s over-confidence and lies might be wearing thin

GANNETT POLL: The spate of Florida Republican presidential primary polls released over the past two days have consistently shown Mitt Romney with an 8-9 point lead over Newt Gingrich. The lone exception is the Dixie Strategies/The News-Press/First Coast News poll.

Our poll has Gingrich leading Romney by an eyelash — 35.46 percent to 35.08.

Could our poll be right and all the others wrong? Maybe.

In polling terminology, our poll is what’s called an outlier (for a set of numerical data, any value that is markedly smaller or larger than other values).

However, there is one factor that works in our favor. The News-Press poll’s sample size (2,567 likely voters) is three to four times larger than that of other pollsters and thus our poll has a very small margin of error (1.93 percent) with a confidence level of 95 percent.

In other words, the confidence interval associated with the sample in our poll is such that 95 percent of the time results will be within 1.93 percent of the “true values.” True values refer to the results obtained if it were possible to interview every “likely” voter in the state.

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