Wow. Newt Now Leads Mitt by More Than Ten

 

The latest polling from Rasmussen Reports:

[A] national telephone survey of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers shows Gingrich with 32% followed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at 19%. Georgia businessman Herman Cain, who led in Iowa last month, drops to third with 13% of the vote. Texas Congressman Ron Paul draws 10% of the vote in Iowa, while Texas Governor Rick Perry and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann each grab six percent (6%).

In re which, two questions:

1)  Can this last?

2)  Does it matter?  (In Iowa, Mike Murphy argued pretty compellingly on this week’s podcast, Mitt Romney need only finish ahead of Rick Perry.)

There are 51 comments.

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  1. John Marzan Inactive

    hmmm. should romney go after newt in the next debate or in ads? my advice is he should not.

    • #1
    • November 18, 2011, at 3:25 AM PDT
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  2. Mel Foil Inactive

    Newt is no Churchill, but he’s the closest we have.

    • #2
    • November 18, 2011, at 4:55 AM PDT
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  3. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Gingrich is the flavor of the month. He could last, or the exposure could dredge up more skeletons that the voters find acceptable.

    I’m not sure how much Iowa matters to Mitt since he has NH in a headlock. The real study should be done in South Carolina now. If Newt gets Iowa (as seems likely today; tomorrow, who knows?) then takes SC we may have a real fight on our hands. Personally, I think the anti-Romney sentiment is strong enough for the contest to go well beyond Florida. Super Tuesday could, indeed, be super this go round. I’m torn between wanting a good long battle and wanting some rest from it all.

    • #3
    • November 18, 2011, at 4:58 AM PDT
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  4. Austin Murrey Inactive

    I don’t think it can, if only because past performance has been a pretty good indicator of future results in this primary. At least one line of attack, that Newt was on the take from Fannie/Freddie , has been tried although I think he handled it fairly well and the attack was fairly clumsy.

    Newt does have the some things that none of the previous high-flying alternatives have had however which could skew his results.

    One is that he’s been consistently good in the televised debates which are this cycles end-all-be-all of the commentariat.

    The second is that unlike Perry, Bachman, Cain and Pawlenty he’s had experience in having a national spotlight on him, and in a negative light. None of the other candidates have had that experience so when they’ve had missteps, they’ve had to figure out how to attack them. I don’t think Newt has that problem.

    In the end Newt merely needs to extend his status as the anti-Romney a few extra weeks to win Iowa, and if he does win Iowa I think he can make an excellent run through the primary season.

    • #4
    • November 18, 2011, at 5:05 AM PDT
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  5. Frozen Chosen Inactive

    Follow the bouncing ball…

    • #5
    • November 18, 2011, at 5:06 AM PDT
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  6. Lucy Pevensie Inactive

    Can Newt raise the money he needs? It seems to me that Mike Murphy’s argument was that Perry was the major risk to Mitt because of the money he had raised.

    • #6
    • November 18, 2011, at 5:21 AM PDT
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  7. Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson Post author
    Lucy Pevensie: Can Newt raise the money he needs? It seems to me that Mike Murphy’s argument was that Perry was the major risk to Mitt because of the money he had raised. · Nov 17 at 4:21pm

    Exactly. Perry has something like $17 million in the bank. I don’t have the figure at hand, but as I recall Newt has raised only about a third as much. We shall see….

    • #7
    • November 18, 2011, at 5:26 AM PDT
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  8. Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson Post author
    Frozen Chosen: Follow the bouncing ball… · Nov 17 at 4:06pm

    At this stage, Frozen, that’s as useful a rule of political analysis as any.

    • #8
    • November 18, 2011, at 5:27 AM PDT
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  9. John Walker Contributor

    At this point in 1971, only a few people saw McGovern as a viable candidate, and yet he won the Democrat nomination. Newt may be in much the same position today—let’s hope it doesn’t end as badly in the general election.

    • #9
    • November 18, 2011, at 5:35 AM PDT
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  10. Ed G. Member

    So is this (the podcast conversation) Murphy doing his part to set the low expectation for Romney in Iowa, or is this Murphy’s expert handicapping?

    • #10
    • November 18, 2011, at 5:42 AM PDT
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  11. Steve Manacek Contributor

    I’d like to be able to pull for Newt — I really would — but until I see a credible poll indicating that he could beat Obama, he remains for me just another one of the Dwarfs. I suspect there are a few other people in the same boat. Per Mr. Walker, above — it is precisely the McGovern scenario that is so worrisome here. If Newt can effectively allay fears of that as a remotely plausible outcome, he may well “stick” as the only viable non-Romney. If not, I think he will fade back into the pack.

    • #11
    • November 18, 2011, at 5:48 AM PDT
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  12. Scott R Member
    Peter Robinson
    Lucy Pevensie: Can Newt raise the money he needs? It seems to me that Mike Murphy’s argument was that Perry was the major risk to Mitt because of the money he had raised. · Nov 17 at 4:21pm

    Exactly. Perry has something like $17 million in the bank. I don’t have the figure at hand, but as I recall Newt has raised only about a third as much. We shall see…. · Nov 17 at 4:26pm

    Perry’s apparently spent much of that cash, needs more, but can’t get it.

    Newt’s got at least fifty bucks. (blush)

    Puzzling: Romney remains a solid 70% to get the nomination on Intrade, unchanged by the Newt bubble. Newt’s bouncing at 12-14%. Sure seems closer than that.

    • #12
    • November 18, 2011, at 5:51 AM PDT
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  13. Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson Post author
    Scott Reusser

    Newt’s got at least fifty bucks. (blush)

    · Nov 17 at 4:51pm

    The moment has come, I believe, Brother Scott, for you to come clean.

    From whom, pray, did Newt get his fifty bucks?

    • #13
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:13 AM PDT
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  14. Publius Inactive
    Astonishing

    Going from Obama to Mitt is like switching from whiskey to beer. Better to hit bottom. Yes, better to hit bottom hard, fast, and ugly with more Obama than to slip smooth, passive, and polite into the abyss with Mitt;I won’t vote for him.

    I’m an independant so I don’t have a role in this formal electoral primary process, but I’ll vote for whoever the GOP puts up this time. I swore I wouldn’t vote for McCain this past time around, but decided the weekend before the election that one of these two awful candidates was going to be president and I had to pick one. I still feel dirty about voting for McCain, but I’m glad I did.

    I’m a Steynian pessimist when it comes to the future so I suspect we’re probably already past the point of no return. If we elect Obama for a second term, I’ll be convinced of it. I don’t see how you reverse that damage given Obamacare and our debt levels.

    Sure, I don’t think Newt would be a particularly good president, but I’d vote for him.

    • #14
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:16 AM PDT
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  15. WI Con Member
    Peter Robinson
    Lucy Pevensie: Can Newt raise the money he needs? It seems to me that Mike Murphy’s argument was that Perry was the major risk to Mitt because of the money he had raised. · Nov 17 at 4:21pm

    Exactly. Perry has something like $17 million in the bank. I don’t have the figure at hand, but as I recall Newt has raised only about a third as much. We shall see…. · Nov 17 at 4:26pm

    I think the money eventually follows the messenger. Perry had that 17 million when he was at 30% in the polls and before his debate performances. How much do you think it will cost him to change our minds about his chances to defeat Obama? Voters, especially primary voters, support those who they believe in and/or who they feel has the best chance of winning.

    • #15
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:17 AM PDT
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  16. Percival Thatcher

    So far, the dogs are not eating the dog food. Screaming at the dogs will not make the dogs eat the dog food. Pleading with the dogs will not make the dogs eat the dog food. Sweet reason will not make the dogs eat the dog food.

    The dogs won’t eat the dog food until they are hungry enough, and they’ll only eat as much as they can stand.

    I’ve been told that there are independent cats that just can’t resist this dog food. Good luck with that.

    I hope it ends up being enough.

    • #16
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:17 AM PDT
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  17. Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson Post author
    Steve Manacek: I’d like to be able to pull for Newt — I really would — but until I see a credible poll indicating that he could beat Obama, he remains for me just another one of the Dwarfs. · Nov 17 at 4:48pm

    For you, Steven, and John Walker, this item, from the blog of the Weekly Standard (the critical graf is the second):

    The latest Fox News poll shows Newt Gingrich leading the Republican presidential field, edging Mitt Romney. Gingrich now has the support of 23 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, compared with 22 percent for Romney….

    The poll shows both Gingrich and Romney faring far better versus President Obama than they did five months ago. In June, Gingrich trailed Obama by 19 points (53 to 34 percent). He has since closed that gap by 14 points and trails by just 5 (46 to 41 percent). In June, Romney trailed Obama by 7 points (48 to 41 percent). He has since moved up 9 points and leads Obama by 2 (44 to 42 percent).

    Newt still doesn’t do as well against Obama as does Romney, but he’s moving up, right smartly.

    Your thoughts now?

    • #17
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:17 AM PDT
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  18. Western Chauvinist Member
    John Marzan: hmmm. should romney go after newt in the next debate or in ads? my advice is he should not. · Nov 18 at 2:25am

    I’m betting he won’t. Romney is running a negative space campaign. “Don’t look at what I am, look at what I’m not. I’m not scary with my bold plans, I’m not a right-wing ideologue, I’m not your crazy old uncle (Ron Paul), or your fundamentalist neighbor (Michelle Bachmann)…” It’s a gamble, but it may work.

    • #18
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:37 AM PDT
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  19. Mel Foil Inactive

    If I thought that the general public, in 2012, could still muster up some indignant revulsion over congressional adultery, or sweetheart deals, then I’d worry about the course of Newt’s campaign. If….

    • #19
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:41 AM PDT
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  20. Scott R Member

    Another criticism of Newt (as always, in the context of loving him) is that those who have worked closely with him in the past are often those most likely to be apprehensive about a Newt presidency. That’s significant, no?

    As for Newt’s history of bi-partisanship, it’s reassuring, on balance — because the big changes to come must be done in a bi-partisan way; otherwise they won’t stick. Newt gets this. Think welfare reform in ’96.

    But the hell-no-we-won’t-compromise conservatives who now support Newt should understand what they’re supporting. Many don’t, I think.

    • #20
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:51 AM PDT
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  21. BKelley14 Inactive
    Steve Manacek: I’d like to be able to pull for Newt — I really would — but until I see a credible poll indicating that he could beat Obama, he remains for me just another one of the Dwarfs. I suspect there are a few other people in the same boat. Per Mr. Walker, above — it is precisely the McGovern scenario that is so worrisome here. If Newt can effectively allay fears of that as a remotely plausible outcome, he may well “stick” as the only viable non-Romney. If not, I think he will fade back into the pack. · Nov 17 at 4:48pm

    I agree. In fact, I predict he will fade fairly soon. I said Cain wasn’t the man for the job and I was right. I think I’ll be right about Newt as well.

    • #21
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:52 AM PDT
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  22. James Of England Moderator
    KC Mulville:

    Newt’s proved that he knows conservatism inside out. We can debate his compromises with others, but he’s definitely a conservative, right down to the ground.

    Mitt? Um … ? · Nov 17 at 7:16pm

    Aside from the abortion conversion, what conservative principle has Newt shown a more consistent allegiance to than Mitt? Newt’s only policy advantage I know of in the “most conservative” stakes is that he failed to get his individual mandate passed. If he’d had Mitt’s legislators and electorate, I feel confident that he would not have that failure, either. On dozens of issues, he’s substantially to Mitt’s left.

    Most importantly, he’s been dramatically less effective and consistent in his approach to spending and deficits.

    I get that he speaks well, but if you’re in an emergency, it’s the engine, chassis, and wheels that matter more than the chrome.

    • #22
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:54 AM PDT
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  23. Steve Manacek Contributor
    Peter Robinson

    Newt still doesn’t do as well against Obama as does Romney, but he’s moving up, right smartly.

    Your thoughts now? · Nov 17 at 5:17pm

    Well — I was guilty of a certain laziness in expression when I wrote “a poll.” In fact, Mitt has consistently polled near or ahead of Obama for some time now, across multiple polls from multiple sources. Any one poll at this point is fairly meaningless. When Newt shows the same pattern as Mitt — consistently competitive or ahead in polls from different sources — then I will start to Believe. Will he? Dunno. My gut tells me no — I just don’t see his appeal stretching far beyond the hard core who love watching liberal media types get smacked down once in a while. But I am wholly open-minded here — and will be watching the polls.

    • #23
    • November 18, 2011, at 6:58 AM PDT
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  24. James Of England Moderator
    David Williamson

    Xennady:

    Of course no votes have been cast, and I wouldn’t want to bet against Mike Murphy’s political expertise.

    I am almost finished with this week’s podcast, and find myself liking and agreeing with Mr Murphy more – a sign of my increasing political maturity?

    But the podcast seems already out of date (not unusual, these days) – Newt’s rise in the polls seems stronger than the previous not-Romneys. Mr Murphy may well be right, and Newt will crash in a few days or weeks. But somehow I don’t think so.

    As others have said, Newt is the nearest we have to a Churchill, and a Churchill is what we need, rather than a competent technocrat.

    But a competent technocrat still passes the syphilitic camel test. ·

    Murphy’s podcast suggested that Newt was likely to win Iowa, and probably South Carolina, but lose New Hampshire, and the long fight as he became increasingly unappealing. I’m pretty sure that a few days of pre-Iowa Newt favorable polls don’t change that.

    • #24
    • November 18, 2011, at 7:01 AM PDT
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  25. Ed G. Member
    KC Mulville: Mike Murphy’s analysis is that we need to get a candidate elected first, who can then pull the country closer toward conservatism. Murphy thinks that the rest of us are purists who can’t accept anyone less than a true believer.
    • That’s not so. I’m perfectly happy to elect a realistic, pragmatic candidate who makes compromises … so long as I’m convinced that the candidate is, deep down inside, a genuine conservative.
    • Is Mitt Romney secretly a conservative, who makes compromises with others to get elected? Or is he secretly just a politician who just wants to win, and he’s making compromises with us?
    How can you tell? You can’t, because they both say the same things. Wolves in sheep’s clothing look exactly like real sheep. But …

    If nothing else, one mark of a real conservative is someone who actually understands conservatism. Can he explain it? Can he connect the dots? Does he grasp the logic of it?

    …..

    KC, once again I’m compelled to express my admiration for your clarity and articulate style. Bravo!

    • #25
    • November 18, 2011, at 7:11 AM PDT
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  26. Peter Robinson Founder
    Peter Robinson Post author
    Steve Manacek

    Well — I was guilty of a certain laziness in expression when I wrote “a poll.” In fact, Mitt has consistently polled near or ahead of Obama for some time now, across multiple polls from multiple sources. Any one poll at this point is fairly meaningless. When Newt shows the same pattern as Mitt — consistently competitive or ahead in polls from different sources — then I will start to Believe. Will he? Dunno. My gut tells me no — I just don’t see his appeal stretching far beyond the hard core who love watching liberal media types get smacked down once in a while. But I am wholly open-minded here — and will be watching the polls. · Nov 17 at 5:58pm

    Fair enough. And on behalf of the whole Ricochetoise, I hereby turn over to you, O oldest and best of friends, the duty of keeping an eye on the Newt-versus-Obama polls from here on–or at least until the Iowa caucuses on January 3.

    • #26
    • November 18, 2011, at 7:20 AM PDT
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  27. Ed G. Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick

    KC hits the nail on the head: conservative leaders govern in a democracy, so they must often compromise with the opposing ideology. People who can’t compromise won’t make it on the national scene. At best, they can regularly win reelection of a safe congressional seat.

    Power corrupts; political power corrupts political principles. When people like Cain appear and speak from the heart, their words resonate with us because they are speaking as we speak–as private citizens.

    But politics, like economics, entails trade-offs. Though Cain’s heart is true, he is clearly stumbling around the corridors of power, knocking on the wrong doors. Romney and Gingrich know their way around, thanks to compromising and yes, occasionally selling out.

    Democratic leaders reflect the disparities of the demos. This is the price we pay for being able to influence our government rather than just cheer it on. · Nov 17 at 9:45pm

    But what do we do if what we really want is for the government to have far less power for us to influence?

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    • November 18, 2011, at 7:22 AM PDT
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  28. Mr. Dart Inactive

    I’m rooting for a wide-open brokered convention at this point.

    • #28
    • November 18, 2011, at 7:27 AM PDT
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  29. James Of England Moderator
    John Marzan: hmmm. should romney go after newt in the next debate or in ads? my advice is he should not. · Nov 18 at 2:25am

    Not in a million years. Well, specifically, not until Perry is out of the race. ;-) Shouldn’t go after Cain, either. Or Paul (except for point scoring purposes in debates).

    A long primary with Cain or Newt would be filled with ideas, and discussions of plans and principles. It’d be great for all involved and great for the party.

    A long primary with Perry would involve a bunch of mud slinging, character assassination, and negative adds. Awful for the candidates politically, awful for them personally, awful for the party

    While it is true that Newt started out with a hideously negative campaign team, they left to work for Perry, and Newt has better guys now. Better for Mitt to come fourth to Newt, Cain, & Paul in Iowa than to win in Iowa with Perry second.

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    • November 18, 2011, at 7:40 AM PDT
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  30. Brad B. Inactive

    I think he has staying power. Unlike the rest, his skeletons are mostly known and gone. A churchillian speaker of real substance. Sat on a couch with Pelosi? Well Churchill once spoke admiringly of Mussolini and also helped put in place the welfare state in Britain. Newt’s had his years in the wilderness. I dismissed him within a week of announcing. I was enamored by his Iran answer and his pledge to abolish the czars on day One.

    • #30
    • November 18, 2011, at 7:59 AM PDT
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