Skip to comments.State of play in Florida: Challenges and opportunities for Newt
Posted on 01/22/2012 2:23:13 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary, 40 percent to 28 percent, over Mitt Romney. He also won every Congressional district and, in doing so, won all of South Carolinas 25 delegates.
Now the battle heads to Florida, which holds its primary on Jan. 31.
Here are five things to look for as the race heads to Florida.
1. Momentum versus organization
Newt Gingrich will come into Florida with momentum, gained from winning South Carolinas primary, which every Republican presidential nominee has won since 1980.
But Romney has a head start in Florida. He has hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots probably in the bank for him. In addition, Romney and groups associated with him have spent nearly $4 million in advertisements, in both English and Spanish. Gingrich has not had the opportunity to pour any money into Florida yet.
But in a state that is won on the airwaves, Gingrich gets free media on every station. And this blanket coverage will significantly boost Gingrich in a state that he was ahead in by 20 percentage points just two months ago.
In 2008, John McCain won Florida on the strength of his wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Well organized establishment candidates, such as Charlie Crist and Bill McCollum, however, have lost their respective senatorial and gubernatorial bids to Marco Rubio and Rick Scott.
In the week ahead, it will be interesting to see if Romneys diligent and traditional organization can withstand the onslaught of free media and positive coverage Gingrich is likely to get from his win in South Carolina.
One other thing that should be noted: The last batch of polls from Florida were conducted before Gingrich debated in South Carolina. Gingrich was trailing Romney by over 20 percentage points in those polls. But if one can assume that Floridians watched the nationally televised debates, it would not be unreasonable to assume that Romneys lead over Gingrich has narrowed in Florida, as it did in South Carolina and nationally, where a Gallup poll released on Friday found Romneys 24 point national lead trimmed to 10 points in a five day span.
2. Romneys attack machine versus Gingrichs debating skills
Losing Florida would be devastating to Romney, and Team Romney will spend the next week attacking Gingrich. But will anything new surface about Gingrich?
As Romney ramps up his attacks, Gingrich will fortunately have two debates, on Monday and Thursday, that he can use not only to defuse the coming attacks against him, but to perhaps again use the moderators as a foil to endear himself to Floridas Republican voters.
3. Closed Primary
Florida is the first true closed Republican primary. No independents or Democrats are allowed to cross over and vote. This favors Gingrich, as the electorate is guaranteed to be more conservative, as a whole, when the primary is closed. In addition, the more conservative the electorate is, the more problems Romney will have.
4. Will the GOP establishment help Romney combat Gingrich?
Will the Republican establishment help build up Rick Santorum to try and help Santorum peel away votes from Gingrich? Will they pressure Bachmann into endorsing Romney? Will they aid Romney in negatively defining Gingrich?
Gingrich scares the establishment. And Gingrich has said he scares the establishment because the establishment knows they cannot control Gingrich. On the other hand, many in the establishment fear Gingrich because they think he lacks the discipline to be an effective leader.
If Gingrich can convince Floridians that the establishment fears him because he is not a part of the establishment and threatens to take a wrecking ball to the GOP establishment, he may win over a significant chunk of voters in Florida who, like Republicans across the country, loathe the Republican establishment, and do so even more this cycle.
Another thing to look for is if anyone significant publicly steps forward to help Romney. Already, Jeb Bush, who was rumored to be in Romneys camp, said he would stay neutral in Floridas primary. The reason is obvious -- a Romney endorsement may hurt the politician in the future.
This is the same dilemma that may also present itself to Marco Rubio.
5. Will Sarah Palin support Gingrich again?
Sarah Palins words about Gingrich helped sway many in South Carolina. Will she now tell Floridians to vote for Gingrich? Palin is extremely popular among Tea Partiers and conservatives in Florida and a public pronouncement of support may help Gingrich win Florida and extend the primary process even more.
This is why Gingrich staked out the middle ground with illegal Hispanics. They’re here and you have to deal with them.
| Gingrich Fans: There is evidence in the polls, that the ABC SLIME JOB - "Marianne", was launched too close to the SC primary for it to be effective there. But they WILL continue to POUND this story before Florida, hoping for it to take more effect there. And remember that EARLY VOTING has already begun in Florida...
So supporters SHOULD BE AWARE of these additional PBS 'facts' regarding the "Marianne" story...
The Romney/MSM/Elite(R) camp will also be DESPERATE to launch something ELSE that will stick and sink Newt in Florida within the next four or five days. They ONLY have nine slime-days left before the FL winner-take-all primary and that is Mitt's "MUST WIN" state.
We should have a count-down like they do for Christmas... (Remaining slime-Newt days till Florida)
But Ed Rollins said something interesting about Romney... ..........commentator1: Do you think that Romney could not only turn this around, but win pretty handily? Rollins: I think he could. But he could also collapse. I think we're right at a critical point here, where he's ahh... I mean, Here's what he's accomplished: Having run non-stop for six years... and this is where he got chased out four years ago... after THIS race, he was gone. He got EXACTLY the same votes, 30 thousand, as what he got four years ago after spending another ten million dollars in Iowa. ........(both commentators surprised: "Oh wow! really?...") He won his HOME state that he was EXPECTED to win LAST time, where he had four or five houses in New Hampshire, and McCain basically went and LIVED in New Hampshire and beat him there. He was supposed to do well in South Carolina, and got clobbered. ..........so whats the problem for Mitt Romney? He just doesn't connect with voters. I mean, he's got a great resume... ..........commentator1: do you think somebody is going to tell him that? Well, its hard to tell a candidate. Having been a reality-check in a lot of campaigns, its not, ah... Its a very painful process. Its ah... They either listen to you, or they basically throw you out of the room. .......commentator2: And he doesn't seem to listen very well because governor Christie made it very clear, put your taxes out there, he didn't listen to him, you see his speech, and it looks like he has two black eyes, he's NOT looking well, I think this was the first time he was tested, and he didn't stand up well.
I was also QUITE surprised that Ed Rollins did NOT KNOW we have some early states, like SC and FL that are winner-take-all (in one form or another). He pooh-poohed how many delegates were invoved here and said, "No, no, no, there are NO winner take all states before April"
It shows he's not always so smart.
oops, I meant to include the links .... PBS FRONTLINE http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/newt/vanityfair1.html More Dirty Politics-ABC SitsOn Interview-Newt's Ex Promised 1995-"Undermine" Newt President Run http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2835888/posts In 1995 Marianne Gingrich Warned She Would Go on the Air and Undermine Newt http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2835903/posts
Since Florida lost half their delegates I’d like to know, did they lose them to another state?
If they went to another state is it one that Newt will probably win?
If Newt picks up half of Florida’s lost delegates in another contest then Florida loses a lot of it’s usual impact...right?
Basically if Mitt were to win half and Newt won the other half then it’s a tie and therefore meaningless.
Since the MSM and the RINO republican elite will make great hay out of a Florida win for Mitt then I think Newt should bring up in the debates that he will win Florida and in fact will also win the “lost” Florida delegates when they come around in another state contest. This takes the wind out of Mitt’s sails for a big momentum gain from a Florida win.
Thanks for this important alert.
This will be my first primary vote....
and it will be for Newt!
I think that the climate in Florida will be even more strong for Newt. I predict another landslide, where Newt sweep all districts, like he did in SC.
Don't blame Rollins. I'm a (reluctant) Newt supporter and a professional in the field, but I would never have considered SC a "winner-take-all" state. Even once Newt surged, I expected demographics to give Romney about a fourth of the SC delegates. I don't think most on FR realize what a big deal it is that Newt took all eleven districts in SC, losing only three counties (Richland with Columbia, Charleston County, and Beaufort County) and losing those by such a small margin that he still took the delegates with his winning margins in adjacent counties. For SC to go winner-take-all is, as Joe Biden would say:
“If Gingrich can convince Floridians that the establishment fears him because he is not a part of the establishment and threatens to take a wrecking ball to the GOP establishment...............”
Almost sounds like Newt got out of the Mafia. Blood in blood out.
The establishment republicans are in trouble, the last election should have been a wake up call for them. Funny..! They still don’t have a clue, even after last night.
They have got to start listening to their base and to their most loyal voters. NO MORE MODERATES. (code word for liberals)
In this election the establishment went out and found the most lieberal (moderate) candidate they could find, and the base is telling them to take “it and shove it”. End of story. There’s a good polling story for you.
She’s certifiably crazy.
“They have got to start listening to their base and to their most loyal voters. NO MORE MODERATES. (code word for liberals)”
Have you seen what they’re up to now? They’re going to play the dating game for the SOTU again.
Really pisses me off because each time they do this, Giffords’ name is invoked which perpetuates the LIE that politics had anything to do with what happened to her.
Santorum started hammering him and now Mitt and every other Dem/repub elite will commence saying, “He resigned as Speaker because of ethics violations”. That concerns me. Hopefully Newt is able to slap that away each and every time with his exonoration in the courts afterwards. He is flawed, but so was Churchill. We need a scrapper and a fighter. Newt is the man for this season. His country needs him and he is answering the call. Romney just wants to be President.
As if anyone in Washington has the authority to lecture us on morality and ethics.
Speaking of which, I wonder how the STOCK Act’s coming along.
Great post. Good analyis, added details AND funny!
Yea, Willard has the Establishment ‘professionals’ and Newt has the Tea Party Patriots. My money is on Newt. Bring us home a win Florida Tea Partiers!
Newt could take 1 minute at the next debate and clear up this phony ethics BS once and for all. He’s what America needs right now. Simple common sense conservatism.
Congress has ethics? Newt gets clobbered and Charlie Rangel gets elevated to sainthood. Go figure......
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