2012 Tuesday: As Newt declines, is Romney sealing the deal?

Is the Newt Gingrich boomlet over? And, if so, has Mitt Romney finally outlasted the anti-Romneys?

The news from Iowa of late has been stunning. One week ago today, in the Real Clear Politics average of polls in Iowa, Gingrich still held a double-digit lead on Romney and every other Republican. Today, he is third on average behind Romney and Ron Paul, including one fourth-place showing in which he also trails Rick Perry.

From Nov. 15 until Dec. 12, Gingrich led every major poll in the state. He’s now trailed in three straight — losing 14 percentage points in six days in Insider Advantage’s poll; eight points in five days in Public Policy Poll’s survey; and 12 points in 28 days according to Rasmussen Reports.

The caucuses take place in two weeks, and Iowans will of course be distracted by other things (Christmas, bowl games involving both Iowa and Iowa State, New Year’s) along the way. Gingrich has less money to spend than his rivals. The attack ads they’re running against him are taking a toll, and he’s going to have a hard, if not impossible, time turning the tide.

A victory by Paul is unlikely to foretell a surge for the Texas congressman. He’s not going to beat Romney in New Hampshire, and he’s still polling in the mid-single digits in South Carolina and Florida. There’s plenty of time, and we’ve been surprised plenty of times already in this race, but Paul has a lot of ground to make up and a few candidates to surpass in both of the Southern states. I still don’t think he can win the nomination.

So, short of an unexpected Paul surge beyond Iowa or a Perry comeback — I’d mention Jon Huntsman, but I don’t see how even his very good proposals for taxes and other policy areas can overcome the contempt he’s shown for the GOP base through most of this campaign — it would appear Romney has survived every challenger.

If so, the question becomes whether Romney is a stronger candidate for it. Has he allayed conservatives’ qualms about his implementation of an individual health-insurance mandate in Massachusetts? (If he had, I think he would have consolidated more support by now.) Is he ready to answer the inevitable, withering attacks from Democrats about his career at a private-equity firm and his wealth? (Maybe I’ve missed it, but I haven’t seen a robust explanation of creative destruction and the bigger picture from Romney, just a comparison to Obama’s record on jobs.) Is Romney proposing a sufficiently bold and conservative plan on the big economic issues, his ostensible bread and butter? (It would appear the answer is no.)

Those are but three questions, and I think my parenthetical answers to them should signal that Romney still hasn’t closed the sale. It may be that Romney keeps giving life to “anti-Romney” even after all his challengers have fallen by the wayside. Which would mean this contest still has a ways to go.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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255 comments Add your comment

Aquagirl

December 20th, 2011
12:44 pm

One by one, the Republican challengers have tripped over their giant shoes while climbing out of the little car. Now it’s empty. I’m a little sad the entertainment is winding down, watching the shotgun marriage with Romney won’t be half as entertaining.

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
12:49 pm

This is a yo-yo effect. Gingrich leads and then Romney takes the lead. It is going to come down to these two. Either is a fine pick.

Jackson Baer

December 20th, 2011
12:51 pm

Ron Paul will win Iowa and then either win New Hampshire or come in a very close second to Romney. Either way, he has a legitimate chance to win the Republican nomination. What will the Republicans do? They can’t stand Paul because of his foreign policy.

RON PAUL 2012

http://www.whatthehellbook.com/the-book/

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
12:57 pm

Jackson….there is NO way Paul will win Iowa. I wish I knew who you were, I would bet you a nice steak dinner.

JV

December 20th, 2011
12:57 pm

Well said Jackson B.

Hillbilly D

December 20th, 2011
1:17 pm

There’s nearly a year to go. A lot can happen on the world stage in a year and the election may end up turning on something that hasn’t even happened yet.

Logical Dude

December 20th, 2011
1:21 pm

quoting/ editing “Huntsman’s. . . contempt he’s shown for the GOP base through most of this campaign”

This is leadership. This is knowing reality and not just bowing to the base. If I knew more about him, he might actually be a good candidate.

But. . . it’s the base that elects the runner, so I guess he’s out.

td

December 20th, 2011
1:26 pm

Romney has maintained and even 20 to 25% all along. The rest of the field is going up and down as the conservatives attempt to find a conservative choice.

The Dems are hoping for Romney because they are hoping the John McCain effect. They think the conservatives will stay home and not vote if Romney is the nominee. This is why all the Lame stream media is working overtime to find any and all dirt on all the Republican candidates except Romney.

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:27 pm

I still believe it will be Romney. He seems to be the most “electable” of them all. I think he appeals to a broader group of voters.

The Snark

December 20th, 2011
1:32 pm

Let’s hope so. He and Huntsman are the only ones competent to execute the duties of the office of President.

JDW

December 20th, 2011
1:33 pm

@Kyle, I think that Romney is the only option available. It will be the first time in history a Presidential Debate is held with one candidate debating himself. In other news:

By a 50% to 31% margin, people questioned say they have more confidence in the president than in congressional Republicans to handle the major issues facing the country.

The GOP’s overall favorable rating has dropped to six points, to 43%, since June, while the Democrats’ positive rating remained steady at 55%.

Obama remains personally popular, with three-quarters saying they approve of him as a person.

Home building spiked up in November to the strongest level in almost two years.

DOW up 322 +2.7%

What we have here folks is an average President in Obama who followed maybe the worst of all time. Cleaning up the mess has taken longer than we would have liked and he could have surely improved his performance. However, given the dearth of realistic options offered by the Republicans the odds are very high that he will be back for four more years. If things keep slowly improving and the Republicans continue to pursue The Party of NO strategy, he may be back with Congressional Majorities.

marauder

December 20th, 2011
1:38 pm

Kyle
What did Huntsman do to show contempt for the Republican base ? Profess a belief in science ?

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:40 pm

JDW….where do you get your numbers? Here are some real figures for you!

http://www.Gallup.com

Obama Approval 43%
Obama Disapproval 50%

Economic Conditions Good 10%
Economic Conditions Poor 49%

Unemployment 8.6%

Yep, Obama keep up the good work…PLEASE!

Common Sense isn't very Common

December 20th, 2011
1:41 pm

The Newtster seems to have gotten his crank stuck in his zipper :-)

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:43 pm

gm

December 20th, 2011
1:46 pm

Thanks idiots the right for not approving the payroll tax, you are making Obama looking like a landslide next year, you selfish inside terroist fail to forget there are millions of middle class conservatives rep out of work who stood behind this bill.
Mit Rodney wow, middle class Americans are really going to line up behind another millionaire who makes 10,0000 bets while people living in rual and inner areas can not pay their rent, are really going to line up behind him , ha ha.

Kyle Wingfield

December 20th, 2011
1:49 pm

Logical @ 1:21: I beg to differ. He was picking fights about issues that don’t matter in the primary — unless you’re going against the base, in which case those fights are simply going to cost you a chance of winning. This says more about his disconnect with reality, in the sense that he’s displaying a tin ear politically and picking pointless fights, than anything else.

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:49 pm

gm……thanks for the laugh!

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:51 pm

gm….what is “raul”????

JDW

December 20th, 2011
1:51 pm

@UGA 1999..”where do you get your numbers? Here are some real figures for you!”

Behind the times as always I see…

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/20/cnn-poll-presidents-approval-nearing-50/?hpt=hp_bn3

Yours are two weeks old….

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:53 pm

JDW….I posted two links for you to use. IF you have a hard time reading them, then God bless your soul. They are updated every day. Nice try.

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:53 pm

JDW….yours also cites CNN…….biased alittle, eh??

markie mark

December 20th, 2011
1:54 pm

hey gm….this from the party that cant even pass a !@#!@# budget for two years….you want a 60 day deal? are you freakin kidding me? Obama is trying as hard as he can to be invisible. The Eco crown is screaming over the proposed pipeline, and his union bosses are screaming in the other direction….and all you want to do is punt for 60 days? How about solving some problems for a reasonable time frame and then move onto the next damn problem….Why dont you children get outa the way and let the grownups govern?

gm

December 20th, 2011
1:54 pm

UGA 1999

. I think he appeals to a broader group of voters.

Broader as in white males, sorry take a look around America the country does not look like the people at his campaign rallies:
Look at the CNN Polls, Obama looks at whole lot better then the GOP, please I hope the GOP continue to cater to one group””””’

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:55 pm

Markie…nice post.

markie mark

December 20th, 2011
1:56 pm

thats “Eco crowd”

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:56 pm

gm….”then the GOP”….hahahaah OMG when? haha did you mean “than”? AHAHA!!! WOW you cannot make this stuff up! Typical Democrat voter…..YOU GUYS SHOULD BE PROUD of GM!!! haha.

JDW

December 20th, 2011
1:58 pm

@UGA 1999…”yours also cites CNN…….biased alittle, eh”

:roll:

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
1:59 pm

JDW….not as the sole source of info. I also provided two.

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
2:00 pm

There should really be a litmus test for voting rights!

St Simons - we're on Island time

December 20th, 2011
2:01 pm

and now they unleash the secret weapon – the real ticket –

Mittens/Tebow 2012

td

December 20th, 2011
2:01 pm

gm

December 20th, 2011
1:46 pm

I think you were one of the ones on these blogs a year before the mid terms that said Barnes would win in a landslide, Thurmond would be our next Senator and there was no way the Tea party could turn the US house. You predictive power is not very credible.

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
2:02 pm

St. Simons….I would still take that above Obama. ha.

JDW

December 20th, 2011
2:02 pm

BTW UGA, guess you missed the relevant poll on your link…

Obama 50
Romney 48

The whole point, which you seemed to have missed as usual, is that in spite of poor ratings and polls the Republican challenge is so weak he will win anyway.

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
2:04 pm

JDW…..I did see that and I am thrilled with it. There is still a LONG way to go and there are other candidates still in the mix.

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
2:04 pm

Remember Obama was not even leading the Democratic party this time in 2008. Remember?

Hillbilly D

December 20th, 2011
2:04 pm

cant even pass a !@#!@# budget for two years….

I don’t think any Senator or Congressman should receive another paycheck, until they pass a budget. Reckon that would get them off their asses?

Michael H. Smtih

December 20th, 2011
2:05 pm

UGA 1999
December 20th, 2011
1:40 pm

I think you’ll find the so-called “housing numbers” are actually an uptick in “apartment building numbers”, as it was report not as blog-spun here. The move upward in the stock market was attributed to the actions taken by the ECB according to one CREDIBLE(non-blogger spun) analysis given this morning that tied it all in with the bond sell offered by Spain, as investor confidence was seen to return based upon the equivalent of an ECB’s “backdoor bailout” not on anything “obumer” or the democrats have done. As once again wrongly blog spun here.

Kyle Wingfield

December 20th, 2011
2:07 pm

marauder @ 1:38: Aside from standing by after an adviser called the party’s members “a bunch of cranks”?

If he feels the party needs to be steered in a different direction wrt, say, anthropogenic global warming, there surely are more effective ways than dismissing his opponents as “anti-science.” If only because that makes the same mistake you did in defining people as either “believers” in science or, I presume, “non-believers.”

The last I checked, “science” was not a monolithic entity in which one either believes or doesn’t. I would hazard a guess, for instance, that a great many of the people on the right who are skeptical about the politics of AGW — which often is conflated with, and presented as equally valid as, climate science — oppose the notions that vaccines cause autism and that we should halt all genetic engineering of certain crops. So, are they still “anti-science”?

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
2:07 pm

Michael……I think you are partially right. “no on anything obumer or the democrats have done”…..I agree because they have done NOTHING!

td

December 20th, 2011
2:09 pm

JDW

December 20th, 2011
2:02 pm

First off nationwide polls mean nothing in a Presidential election because we have that little thing called the electoral college that elects the President not the popular vote. Go take a look at polls in such states as Ohio, Florida, NC and see where Obama’s polls are at. BTW: you do realize that if you are voting for Obama in Georgia next year that your vote will not be counted?

Second: It is way to early to look at any polls to predict what may happen in next years election.

LivesInReality

December 20th, 2011
2:10 pm

Being a 55 year old native, I just love the castles of denial the inbred, cul-de-sac crowd live in. Of course Obama won’t win here but you better get your passport up to date because there is no way he loses nation wide. We at least helped Goldwater keep him from being another zero like Gulianni. The rest of the country felt a little different. It’s Obama 2nd term, like it or not. The rest of you continue to decorate whatever newly founded municipal you chose to live in.

bluecoat

December 20th, 2011
2:10 pm

Wagering pugs only cater to the corporations.

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
2:13 pm

Livesinreality…..”there is no way he loses nation wide.” WAKE UP…..WAKE UP……Oh there you go, the dream is over! hahahaha

JDW

December 20th, 2011
2:18 pm

@td…guess you never heard of a leading indicator. :roll:

Michael H. Smtih

December 20th, 2011
2:19 pm

UGA 1999
December 20th, 2011
2:07 pm

I’m only repeating the facts reported this morning by the news media. If there is a partially right, then give them the credit. I don’t think I should get any points for plagiary. :)

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
2:19 pm

JDW…..it is an indicator, not the sole factor.

td

December 20th, 2011
2:20 pm

LivesInReality

December 20th, 2011
2:10 pm

Please explain to us exactly how Obama is going to win in a landslide? What states will he win this time that he did not win in 08? Are there any states he could lose?

UGA 1999

December 20th, 2011
2:21 pm

td….nice post….actually I saw a study that shows Obama losing nearly all of the main battleground states. He is going to focus on some other areas this time because he knows he cannot win states like Florida, Ohio and Arizona.

bluecoat

December 20th, 2011
2:23 pm

Student of Newt we intend to vote Obama regardless, count or not count.You just wanting us to stay home.