Monday, January 30, 2012

The Sticking Point

English: Newt GingrichImage via Wikipedia
Eric Dondero over at Libertarian [sic] Republican thinks I'm crazy for still predicting a Newt Gingrich win in tomorrow's Florida primary.

Maybe he's right. I do have a bad habit of over-estimating the aggregate intelligence of the Republican Party. I'm betting that Republican primary voters have enough gray matter between them to have figured out that Gingrich is the only candidate for their nomination who stands a chance in hell of both getting that nomination and beating Barack Obama in November.

A small chance, true, but a chance nonetheless. And he's the only one who even might manage both.

Ron Paul could conceivably beat Obama, but he can't sell the GOP on foreign policy sanity and get the nomination.

Mitt Romney or even Rick Santorum (just barely plausibly) could get the nomination, but neither one  has a chance in hell of hitting 270 electoral votes for the win. In fact, either one would be over-performing at 100 electoral votes.

So the question is: Are the Republicans interested, or are they not interested, in at least a slim possibility of taking the White House for the 2013-2017 presidential term? If yes, Gingrich is the nominee. If no, he isn't. It's really just that simple.

I'm sticking with my earlier prediction: Gingrich by 9 points, plus or minus 2, tomorrow, for the simple reason that any GOP primary electorate dumb enough to return a different result is arguably also too damn dumb to work those complicated knobs on their doors and get out of their houses to the polling places to vote any other way.

But I could be wrong. Perhaps the Democratic Party has an "Open Those Complicated Door Thingies for Romney Voters and Drive Them to the Polls" effort set up.

And just to be clear here, no, I'm not a Gingrich fan. I don't really care one way or another whom the Republicans nominate, or who wins in November, except from the "horse race" angle.  There's just no real betting to be done on Obama versus Romney or Santorum. That would be like an exhibition football game between the New England Patriots and your local Mighty Mite champions. Obama versus Gingrich would at least be more akin to the Patriots versus the Kansas City Chiefs' second string or something.

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