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DECEMBER 5, 2011 10:44AM

Gingrich Will Be the GOP Nominee

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Newt Gingrich will be the Republican nominee for president.  Why?  Because Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and the GOP primary/caucus schedule favors a non-Mormon candidate.

White Evangelical Christians are perhaps the strongest, most loyal constituency of the Republican Party.  That is Romney’s greatest obstacle to the nomination.  In a Pew poll conducted just before Thanksgiving, two-thirds of Evangelical Christians expressed the belief that Mormonism is not a Christian religion.  In other polls, a significant majority of Evangelicals consistently express doubts that they would vote for a non-Christian for president. 

Romney = Mormon = non-Christian

That same Pew poll, conducted shortly before Herman Cain’s implosion, showed the pizza godfather leading nationally among Evangelical Republicans at 26%.  Newt Gingrich came next at 19%, followed by Romney with just 17%.  Now that Cain is out of the race, his supporters must choose a new candidate.  Many will move to second tier candidates like Michele Bachmann or Ron Paul.  One can surmise, however, that a large percentage will select one of the two current front-runners.  The Pew poll strongly suggests Gingrich will get far more former Cain supporters than Romney.

Now consider the primary/caucus schedule:

Jan. 3:              Iowa

Jan. 10:            New Hampshire

Jan. 21:            South Carolina

Jan. 31:            Florida

Feb. 4:             Nevada

Feb. 7:             Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri

Feb. 11:           Maine

Feb. 28:           Arizona, Michigan

Mar. 3:             Washington

Mar. 6:             Super Tuesday – Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia


If the race has not been decided by Super Tuesday, it will certainly be decided on that date.  The primaries that follow Super Tuesday will play no role in the selection of a candidate.

I believe Gingrich will win Iowa rather convincingly.  Evangelicals are an important part of the GOP base there.  I also believe Romney will finish in 3rd or 4th place in Iowa.  New Hampshire will go to Romney, but that race will probably be fairly close as Gingrich benefits from his Iowa win.  Next comes South Carolina, another state where Gingrich will likely finish strong.  As we come to Florida’s Jan. 31 primary, most of the second tier candidates will have left the race.  Romney and Gingrich will be the two front runners, and there might be a few secondary candidates like Ron Paul who will hang on to the very end but will play no significant role in the outcome.  Romney will be trailing Gingrich in pledged delegates, and also in national polls, as Gingrich benefits from the bandwagon effect of his delegate lead.  It will be absolutely imperative that Romney win Florida.  Florida has a huge delegate count, and a win there will show that Romney’s presidential bid is still serious.  If he loses Florida, Romney’s candidacy is effectively over.

Florida will be a fascinating contest.  The northern part of that state strongly resembles Gingrich’s home state of Georgia.  It is very much a region of the Deep South, with a strong Evangelical presence.  The southern part of the state is dominated by ethnic Cubans and retirees.  If Romney can draw the support of those two groups, he can win Florida.  That is a big “if”, however, since by then the Gingrich train might be moving with such momentum that it cannot be stopped.

If Romney does win Florida, the race is temporarily up for grabs.  Romney would likely win Nevada, where Evangelicals are relatively few, and Mormons a strong presence among the religiously inclined.  With two Romney wins in row, the race would be wide open until Super Tuesday.  Romney and Gingrich would likely split the contests that occur between Nevada’s caucus and Super Tuesday.  Unfortunately for Romney, Super Tuesday favors Gingrich.  The Georgian would almost certainly take Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.  Only a few of the other states are sure bets for Romney, such as Massachusetts and Vermont.  These two states, however, cannot match the delegate total for the lock that Gingrich will have on the other states.

It really does come down to religion in the GOP race.  As I have written previously, it is surprising to me that Gingrich would attract strong Evangelical support.  Indeed, it appears Evangelicals have been wandering the wilderness trying to identify “their” candidate, and until recently Gingrich was not high on that list.  That explains the rapid rise and fall of candidates such as Bachmann, Perry, and Cain.  When the preferred candidate falters, Evangelicals move on to someone else.  Fortunately for Gingrich, they have run out of other options, assuming someone like Rick Santorum does not rise like a phoenix to take attention away from Gingrich.

I really don’t see much hope for Romney at this stage.  Having never risen above 30% in GOP support, the “anyone but Romney” candidate will likely win.  At this point in the race, that candidate looks like Newt Gingrich.

Of course, I may be proven embarrassingly wrong by this time next month!  

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I have a hard time understanding this strong anti-Mormon bias. Sure, Mormons believe some odd things, but so do other Christian groups, and as long as Romney pushes the right hot buttons, why should any of it matter? I'm just wondering what the actual deal-breaker in Mormonism is.

Informative piece, by the way. I look foward to seeing how this plays out. Rated.
Alan, the main antipathy against Mormons, I think, is the fact that they have gone beyond the Bible as the basis for their religion. The Book of Mormon is something mainline Christians can't accept, and it is viewed as schismatic at best, and heretical among many.

rwnj, I'll bet a lot of conservatives may think that, but when push comes to shove, they'll gladly support him against Obama. I actually think Gingrich would be a formidable candidate, and Democrats who think otherwise may find themselves very surprised next autumn.
I think you pinpointed the race down to the basic element. Religion. Such a shame that the right wing is so entrenched in the dogma. Oh I hope Obama gets another four years. Gingrich is not ethical.
I think Romney will lose perhaps 5% of the primary votes available to him on purely religious grounds, but he has the money and the organization to win without that 5%. Sure, many evangelicals will bypass him, but they won't overcome his advantages in big states. Iowa is an anomaly. So is South Carolina. Gingrinch is, after all, a serial philanderer,Catholic, with a variety of current views, old baggage and a propensity for jumping the shark. He has no money, no organization and no staff. In big states like Florida more independent-leaning voters are going to want someone predictable. I predict Romney wins.
I think being religious hurts any candidate's prospects of being considered a qualified candidate, particularly because so many people are uninformed and ignorant about each candidate's political background.

When we vote presidents into office premised upon their personal positions & lifestyles, we're doing ourselves an injustice.

I don't care if our next POTUS is an alien from another cosmos. I want somebody who leads our country by setting standards of excellence aspiring leaders use when sustaining

when sustaining pragmatic economical intervention models that're geared toward reformation of our infrastructure, with minimal expenditures on overlapping governmental programs where billions/trillions are lost due to financial malfeasance.
zanelle, many will disagree with me that religion plays such a strong role, but I think it does among just enough voters that they can really impact an election, especially at the primary/caucus level.

Steve, you may be right, but I think the timing of the primaries and caucuses give Gingrich a big head start, because Iowa and SC will definitely be impacted by the religion factor. The question to me is just how many Florida voters will be likewise swayed by religion. You may prove me wrong, but in this race the anti-Romney sentiment is so strong I don't think he can overcome it unless he pulls a real upset early on, like in Iowa or SC, or Gingrich implodes.

Belinda, a lot of voters, especially those who go to church regularly, will strongly disagree with you.
Newt Gingrich and the GOP nomination: The story of a man who went on a book signing tour and wound up running against the President of the United States.

Your analysis is more insightful than that of the Sunday morning talking heads.
Once upon a time I planned to do a post with the following idea. Like so many other posts, it most likely will never see the light of day. Here's my thoughts on the eventual nominee.
1st - I agree, Romney cant do it, even if every other candidate implodes. Too much baggage, starting with his choice of religious flavors, and working through his time as Mass. governor and his previous (job-destroying) period in the private sector.
In the end, what will happen is for the first time since Dewey won at the convention in '48, the Rs will be conflicted. And they will turn to a candidate that doesnt run the primary gauntlet - Jeb Bush.
Before you choke on that prediction, let me just ask - "What choice will they have?" For all the "values voters" not one candidate is acceptable. Mostly because none of them are pure enough. Changes of positions, infidelity, strange religions etc, no one is clean enough. There will be no enthusiasm and so, in an attempt to "save the party" from its own enforced idealogical wilderness, they will turn to the Bush daddy and mommy wanted in the White House in 2000.
And then, God help us all.
Steve, thanks for the great discussion and prediction! If Newt turns out to be the contender in the general election Obama will pull out this red and white button from his desk drawer:
I wouldn't put it past Romney to convert before January 3rd.
This has been a source of great discussion in our family. I also have Mormon friends who say that they don't necessarily WANT him to be president. Interesting. A much more interesting deal than when JFK was running. Romney has apparently quite an organization in some of the later primary states; is he waiting for Gingrich to implode?
If he does, it means that the powers-that-be want Obama for another term. He is no sexual angel, maybe his bimbettes will start crawling out of the woodwork for us.
Stim, good grief, can you imagine standing in line at that book signing? It's amazing what some people do with their hard-earned cash.

Tim4change, that would certainly make for an interesting election!

John, I certainly hope Obama wouldn't rest on his laurels and think Gingrich would be an easy pushover. I don't think he would be.

Leapin Larry, ya got me chucklin'!

Bernadine, I don't think a well-oiled organization will help much after Florida. He'd have to win decisively on Super Tuesday, taking several southern states, something I don't think he can do.

Miguela, if Gingrich is the nominee, I predict he will do far better than most liberals and Democrats seem to think. Whether or not what he spouts is nonsense, he SOUNDS like he knows what he's talking about, and the pundits won't call him out on it.
In a land where black pepper flavored mayonnaise makes it out of product development, anything is possible. Our mistake is looking at the candidates' worth, not their marketability, like the pros. (One coiuld say there's a sucker re-born every minute.) I'm fully expecting a Romney/Nugent ticket. But not with held breath.
Stacey, Romney-Nugent would be fun. I wouldn't vote for them, but they would sure enliven the campaign!
I almost expect an RNC convention floor fight next year. It's as if they are gearing up for a repeat of 1976 and it will be the same disaster. And considering how polls are done these days I wouldn't count Romeny out this early, after all it seems the front runner status seems to be "everybody gets a trophy day, except Ron Paul".
Well wait for his dirty laundry to come out when it's his turn. He *ain't no angel*, I'm sure.
I luv u my friend, but the Republican base will support whoever is nominated on their ticket. The Democrats got over Catholics, and Republicans will get over Mormons. Democrats and "liberals" think loyalty is a dirty word but conservatives practice it faithfully.

Gingrich's problem is he's fat, ugly, and fatuous--forget about his adultery and hypocrisy. You're reading the headlines with rationality and that makes you an outsider to the way Republicans think when their dominence is threatened.

Better to confront liberals with their disloyalty and childish rejection of the democratic process.
I think you stress the Mormon factor more than it deserves. Obviously there will be some people who will not vote for him because he is a Mormon, but others will also not vote for him because they don't like his hair cut, his East Coast uppity persona, or the cut of his suit. People will measure a man by their own very individual standards, likes, principles, etc etc. Nixon lost to Kennedy because he didn't have make-up on. So ya never know what is gonna turn off the electorate.

Personally I don't care if the GOP nominates Romney or Gingrich, and it will be one of the two. All I care is that Obama is not in front of the Capital on January 20, 2013. Little else matters Republicans, many independents, and former Obama voters who bought the "sizzle" but found out there was no "steak."

A bit off the thread topic, but since we are discussing "religion in politics", just a reminder about the religiosity of our President...

Extract from Christmas Tree Lighting
December 1, 2011

"More than 2,000 years ago, a child was born to two faithful travelers who could find rest only in a stable, among the cattle and the sheep. But this was not just any child. Christ’s birth made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar. He was a manifestation of God’s love for us. And He grew up to become a leader with a servant’s heart who taught us a message as simple as it is powerful: that we should love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

That teaching has come to encircle the globe. It has endured for generations. And today, it lies at the heart of my Christian faith and that of millions of Americans. No matter who we are, or where we come from, or how we worship, it’s a message that can unite all of us on this holiday season."

Or is this the real President of the United States?
If Romney actually had five wives it'd be another matter, but instead he's the straightest arrow in the bunch, and MORE THAN THAT HE HAS A FULL HEAD OF HAIR.

Don't you know man? That's all that matters in the end. The rest is all made up by geeks.
i confess to never having a deep friendship with bible clutchers of any breed, i do not offer expert opinion, but surely those evangelicals, particularly the women, are not going to vote for a serial adulterer?
Romney might pull it off considering his ample campaign funds and better organization.
But you are correct about Evangelicals. They will very likely refrain from voting before they vote for a Mormon. To Evangelicals a Mormon is the same as a Scientologist. Unlike Catholics, Mormons are considered non Christian cultist.
The biggest issue (out of many) is that Mormons are polytheists. They believe that all Mormon men have the potential to progress to becoming a God.
It's all ridiculous, but it is a real issue.
Will be interesting.
You may be right in your analysis. I have known several religious right folks that would have a hard time with voting for someone who is in a cult, and that's exactly what many of them believe about Mormons, it's bizarre but true. They will also have a hard time with someone who has so blatantly cheated on their wives....for the hard right -- it's a conundrum...
I think it will be a brokered convention, with everything up for grabs. Repugs have gotten away with blowing the bankers while inflaming the base about the scourge of gay sex and abortion and howz come we haven't invaded anyone this month? Mitt makes their deal all too obvious. We really don't care about all that other stuff, never have. Just let us empty the treasury again. Newt is a fun distraction for them, but they'll wise up soon enough that he's the Sham-Wow! guy of American politics. Neither one of those guys makes it. You read it here first.
good. he makes good solid sense, in a way.

"Look, I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us,
is prepared to use violence, to use harassment."

I think it is prepared to use the government
if it can get control of it.
I think that it is a very dangerous threat
to anybody who believes in traditional religion.

And I think if you believe in historic Christianity,
you have to confront the fact.

And, frank— for that matter, if you believe in the historic version of Islam
or the historic version of Judaism,
you have to confront the reality

that these secular extremists are determined to
impose on you acceptance of a series of values that are antithetical, they're the opposite, of what you're taught in Sunday school.
The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News, 2008-11-15




good. he makes good solid sense, in a way.

"Look, I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us,
is prepared to use violence, to use harassment."

I think it is prepared to use the government
if it can get control of it.
I think that it is a very dangerous threat
to anybody who believes in traditional religion.

And I think if you believe in historic Christianity,
you have to confront the fact.

And, frank— for that matter, if you believe in the historic version of Islam
or the historic version of Judaism,
you have to confront the reality

that these secular extremists are determined to
impose on you acceptance of a series of values that are antithetical, they're the opposite, of what you're taught in Sunday school.
The O'Reilly Factor, Fox News, 2008-11-15




I MEANT newt, not u, proc.
Ha am I good or what? 9/10.
Uh, serendipity. Or chance. Or random shit.


It aint for the squeamish.
ocular, Ron Paul makes too much sense, at least on foreign policy, for the GOP to embrace him. A floor fight would be interesting -- unlikely, but interesting!

John B., wouldn't that be entertaining!

d white, he certainly isn't. But they'll vote for him anyway.

Ben Sen, of course the Republicans would vote for Romney if he gets the nomination. I just don't think he'll get that far. But he does have good hair, and that helps.

Joe Zollo, my guess is that a good 30-40% of the active GOP base, those who will vote in caucuses and primaries, are Evangelicals, and I think that given the choice between a Mormon and a more traditional Christian denomination, a strong majority will vote for the guy who is not Mormon, especially in the South and parts of the Midwest. The early primary/caucus states are skewed to those kinds of states. My hunch, and it really is just that, is there are enough people of that mindset to doom Romney. Plus, there are a lot of others who just don't like him no matter his religion.

al loomis, Evangelical Republicans will be only too eager to forgive Gingrich his sins as long as he is contrite and appears to be faithful to his current wife. One of the main facets of born again Christians is the belief that we are all sinners, and that we can be redeemed. I think Republican Evangelicals want to believe Gingrich has asked for God's forgiveness and has been redeemed.

onislandtime, I think you and I are in agreement.

Martyshusband, yeah, some will have a hard time with Gingrich's adultery, but they will vote for him with the hope that he has turned a new leaf. A little contrition on Gingrich's part will play real well.

jimmymac, I'd agree with you that Gingrich could fade just like Perry et. al., except time is running out. Iowa is in just 4 weeks, and there's no one else really besides Romney (Paul and Santorum are stuck where they are, and Huntsman, the most sane of the bunch, doesn't stand a ghost's chance).

J.M. Emmerling, there are millions of Republican voters who will absolutely love the quote you gave from O'Reilly. They think that shows depth, understanding, and wisdom. The thing that makes Gingrich a formidable candidate is the absolute certainty he displays on even the most nonsensical stuff. He APPEARS to know what he's talking about, and the mass of uninformed Americans will eat that up, especially when he espouses American exceptionalism and the dangers we confront from the evil outside world. He's a demagogue, but demagoguery can be very effective.
It's a pretty plausible scenario Procopius. I've heard and read that Romney's Mormonism is an obstacle but I have seen any substantive polling analysis that bears it out (or refutes it for that matter). So I'm inclined to take your word. It's pretty clear that something has been holding Romney below that 30% threshold for the better part of a year.

It's only in the last couple of weeks that Newt has emerged as the latest non-Romney frontrunner. That is bringing renewed attention to his checkered past and a sudden collapse can't be ruled out.
Abrawang, the reason I doubt a Newt collapse a la Cain is because we already know all about his sullied past, and yet his support continues to grow. The latest poll results that came out after I wrote this piece confirms that he has picked up the bulk of Cain's support in Iowa and leads Romney by a huge margin, and is within striking distance in New Hampshire.
Congrats, P on the EP. It's good to see a friend get one of these. It is amazing that the REpublicans are so bigoted that they will even eat their own. Hopefully they will continue with the self destruction until they finish themselves off.
zuma, don't be so coy. How do you really feel? (and thanks for the nice compliment!)
The one factor that could derail Newt is the law of diminishing returns. The more popular Newt becomes, the less popular he will be. It's like spreading manure on a garden. A little works well, leading to laying on more manure, which, after a few cycles of application based on anticipation, leaves you with dead plants and a pile of BS.

Less Newt is more Newt, and more Newt is less Newt.
The closer he gets, the worse he looks. The closer he gets, the more people focus on his "inelectability," which moves him away. The closer he gets, the more his numerous skeletons become his running mates.

In the Hell's Kitchen meets Apprentice reality show the GOP race has become, wiser heads will point out the sponsors aren't too keen on Newt and *try* to convince the base to settle for the Candidate From Central Casting.

But it may do no good if there's too much Newtmentum.

Still too early to call, IMO, but Newt is still the morning line
Care to bet a pizza? A Domenico's pizza in Beloit says you're wrong. Evangelical numbers are sinking and Gingrich's negatives are too high. He carries too much baggage.

The Obama people would like nothing more than Gingrich. Obama is Ward Cleaver next to Newt.
Yet, in our Post-Dickensian/Modernist world there lurks such creatures:

In any weather, he'd stomp down the street in his rigid, determined gait, the very sort of movement lending to some credibility of one with saddened,disrespected, yet unbeaten, wives, who having served their purpose, would fear him, despite being removed by years of relief and dues paid for having bent to his want. Yes, though his large block of a head, centered by the very mouth of an otter's anus, stitched to a perfect near-smile, he'd lumber on. Here in the din of this poor light, marching in his beloved fog, we'd hear him mutter, its suppression, nearly unconscious, "Nah, Bloombug?, Jail em each and every, I say. Let them toil for their unbootstrapped porridge -- and let them eat it cold as a door knob. Work 'em in the very schools they attend, defray the cost of books and overhead -- teach them to obey most of all! Then, they won't be in the streets with the older kids, worthless bastards they surely are!"
Enjoyed the post and the comments. Agree with jimmymac that neither will prevail. Look for Jeb or Chrisitie to emerge. I really think both Jeb and Christie are reluctant to run against Obama and want their turns in 2016. The Newt phenom will sink fast and I think Iowa is on its last legs as being influential in any significant way. I mean no offense; but Iowa is way overblown in terms of its real significance. And who are all these evangelicals anyway? Way to get things going.
I do not think there are as many bigoted people out there as the author would have us believe. I feel sorry for people with such mindsets. If the republicans nominate Gingrich he will be the focus of the election not the economy and there will be four more years of Obama.
I don't think the Republican Party was this pathetic even after Nixon's debacle. What a bunch of Bozos. The lunacy being exhibited, not to mention the hypocrisy, is truly astounding.
Paul J. O'Rourke mentioning The Apprentice makes it all come clear - and, of course! Trump 'moderating' a debate makes sense after all. These guys (and 'gal') have been out there in a reality show making like presidential candidates, or tv fantasy versions of same.

Cain just got fired. (As opposed to fired up.) "You can't fire me, I quit." Or at least suspend.

That really does leave Huntsman out in the cold, since he's refusing to participate in the Trump debate. BUT...Trump claims Huntsman has been asking to come and kiss the ring, like all the others, but Trump just was too busy Doing Deals to accommodate him, hence the Huntsman huff. So Huntsman might still be in.

Yeah, I haven't mentioned Ron Paul.

If Jeb or Christie get in, hopefully their large and suppurating flaws will become apparent.

Speaking of suppurating, d'ya suppose Palin might jump in?
Enh..... six months is an eternity in politics.

But, say you're right. Gingrich, now married for the third time, and with an attitude toward women that is essentially "you're arm candy, and I'll be trading you in by the time you hit 40" would be campaigning against a president who's been happily married to the same woman for 18 years, with two adorable kids. Who do you think is going to look like the better family man?

In this year when anger against conservative policies and politicians appears to be mounting (it's about F***ing TIME!), Gingrich has the whole Contract with America on his record. I blame him for setting the stage for the present partisan hostility and enmity back in 1994 with his Primer for Republican freshman congresspersons. Remember "Sick, pathetic traitor"? I sure do. Boy, that really enhanced bipartisan cooperation in Washington, didn't it?

After the Republicans brought the nation to the point of default this summer for the sake if ideoloical purity, Conress's current lousy polling numbers, and their totally partisan refusal to compromise on anything, how good in Newt going to look if anyone reminds the voting public of his tantrum of 1995 when he shut down the Federal government because he had to ride at the back of Air Force 1? Not so good, is my guess.
Unfortunately, you are right. Excellent analysis and comments; you should be a political pundit. You'd earn millions! Paul Krugman had an excellent opinion in today's NYTimes:
And, Steve, Congratulations on the EP. Well done!!!!
I'd bet if Mitt had the charm and charisma of Reagan or Clinton, his religion wouldn't matter enough to count.

I bet Newt will flame out before he rounds up enough votes to win the nomination. He has a long history of looking really good in the short term and flaming out before his latest push lasts long enough to be effective.

It's a sorry commentary on the voting process when fewer than half the states routinely decide the nomination.
I agree with you that Newt probably will be the nominee...but I keep hoping that someone like Jeb Bush comes along to knock him off.

The Republican nominee, in my opinion, WILL be the next president no matter who that person is. Obama is not going to win--the liberals cannot get over their dislike of him...and the middle of the political spectrum simply cannot get him over the hump.

The Republicans WILL rally around whomever their process produces. The Democrats will not.

If Gingrich gets the nomination...our country and the chances of any progressive agenda are dead.
Procopius --enjoyed your piece & prediction.

Two things I've learned about political forecasting:

1) the further into the future the predicted event, the exponentially greater the odds of something derailing it.

2) A year is like a decade in politics. So the weirder the prediction, the more time it needs to play out.

Your prediction is well-reasoned, so it falls more under the "Chaos Theory" - #1.

Don't be embarrassed if you're wrong.
On the morning of Election Day 2010, Nate Silver had Sharon Angle as 80% chance favorite to unseat Harry Reid and pulling away.
(Plus, if you become wrong about Newt by this time next month, it'll likely be because of something said or done by Newt himself.)
Newt has finally learned to speak slower than he used to. People will not vote for a fast talker.

More importantly, I believe Christians will reject Romney when they find out about the 'holy underwear' that Mormons wear to keep away demons and provide physical protection. I can already hear SNL talking about the Holy Underwear.
Don't be too sure. he has a lot of baggage, probably some of it hidden. If so, it may very well come out. Personally, I regard him as a pompous ass. I am a strong Obama supporter, but Romney is more sane and principled than Gingrich.
Paul O'Rourke, it's that Newtmentum that seems to be happening at just the right time for him. But I do like your summation -- the more visible he is, the more diminished he becomes.

Roger, that's a bet I won't mind losing. You're on!

William Norris, maybe he should use as one of his qualifications the fact (we presume) that he never beat his any of his wives.

grif, I have a hard time imagining in this era that a party would ignore the primaries and pick someone in the smoke filled room. But it would certainly make for some good drama, and might even increase voter turnout.

olblugill, I hope you're correct.

Rick, I'm never astounded at the hypocrisy of politicians.

Myriad, I like the reality show metaphor. And no, I don't think Palin will enter. She's got too sweet a deal right now.

Shiral, I also hold Newt to blame for a big part of our poisoned political atmosphere. Of course, that is a plus for him among many Republican voters. And he does not need to stay on top for 6 months, just about 2 and a half, to carry him to Super Tuesday. He'll have Iowa and South Carolina to support him in the interim.

Ralph, what would I ever do with millions? Oh yeah, I'd probably take a trip to Alaska, and a few other places on my bucket list.

Malusinka, if Newt's surge had come two months ago, I'd agree with you. But the timing of his surge, as opposed to those of previous front runners, is very fortuitous for him. You're correct about the absurdity of having just a few states determine our elections.

Frank, I hope you're wrong, but you may be right. I think it is a HUGE mistake for liberals/progressives to write Gingrich off as being a pushover in the general election. He would be very formidable.

oddsox, I'm already thinking about my contrition post if Newt flounders. I'll be a little embarrassed.

GerryGreene, I just threw out some of my holey underwear the other day. Oops, you said "holy", not "holey". Never mind.

Patrick Frank, if sanity were a criterion for electability, Huntsman would be leading the pack.
The GOP nominee will be Jeb Bush. The convention will be deadlocked and the "White Knight", Jeb, will be drafted. He will then not have to run against his brother's policies as participating in the primaries would have forced him to do.
I suspect that a large portion of the anti-Mormon feelings might be prejudicial; however a close look at the Mormon religion, or cult, may provide many legitimate problems that aren't prejudicial. This really is an extremely controlling religion and it is, in many ways, even more extreme than the Evangelicals.

However I suspect you may be mistaken about Newt being the nominee. He'll probably be torn apart one way or another and he might turn this into a mudslinging match or an absurd satire passing off as "politics," but I suspect he will probably be shot down before it is done. However I didn't expect him to do nearly this well. My best guess is that Romney will be the nominee and there will be at least one major third party candidate from the right wing. It is going to be insane and you might hear more about the history of Mormonism although the best material won't be from the Main Stream Media.
Romney = Mormon = non-Christian=Godless heathen.

That's Romney's problem. I'd agree with the Obama administration that Gingrich is a better candidate to run against. I don't really expect to hear "Ladies and Gentlemen, President Newt Gingrich and the Third Lady."
In 1988 I lived on one of the Islands off the coast of Massachusetts, a play ground for the liberal elite to be sure. Every one was happy and certain that " our " candidate would be the next president. But I spent the summer in a gloom telling every one that they had it wrong.
Sarah Palin is coming back !
I'm curious to see how the primaries play out. You may be right, or we may get a surprise. Regardless of who we get as a Republican candidate, I hope that Obama can continue to solidify his position enough to merit the "easy" button.
We have really gotten on the train to crazytown, haven't we? Will Michele Bachmann be his scary running mate?
Hard-core conservatives back Newt.

Moderates flock to Mitt but he won't get the nomination cuz he's a mormon, and his state's health care plan duplicates Obamacare.

Perry and Paul won't last much longer...they're out of touch with the average American households and neither do well with support from latino and black voter communities.
Berean, it's amazing how many people on this forum think the GOP will select someone who is not currently running. I personally don't think the country will go for another Bush, even if he is the smartest of the two kids.

baltimore, I'm not sure when we'll have a woman president. Remember, most of those Evangelicals will not allow a woman pastor, so they aren't likely to go for a woman president either.

zacherytaylor, I don't think the nation as a whole would vote down Romney if he gets the nomination due to his Mormonism. Those who would vote against a Mormon in primaries would probably vote for him in the general election if their only other choice is Obama. I also agree with you that it is too simplistic to say anti-Mormon sentiment is strictly due to prejudice.

Jimmy Zuma, don't be so sure the Obama folks aren't concerned about Newt's sudden rise.

John boyle, nothing would make the Obama team happier than a Palin comeback!

bikepsychobabble, I don't think the "Easy" button is going to get pushed. Unless it's Palin!

odette, I can't imagine the GOP would make the same mistake that they made last time around. But if they do, it would be good for Obama.

Belinda, I think hard-core conservatives control the GOP, hence Newt.
Steve this is a bold prediction. But it's predicated on Newt staying completely rational for the next 8 weeks. It is possible, but not likely.
Eye of Newt, tail of toad....Newt's anger and bluster fit the mood of the konservatives to a tee this campaign season so I think you're right Procopius...see my most recent post "The 64 Billion Dollar...Political Question"....wink
Part of me hopes you're wrong (Gingrich is slime) and part of me hopes your right (he has so much baggage that there's probably more incriminating stuff to be found). It's a sad commentary on the state of the Republican Party in any event. But, to repeat, there's a good chance the Gingrich campaign train will crash and burn as a result of some as-yet undisclosed personal indiscretions, malfeasance in office, or financial peculation. Or all three...
I think you're right but there's a second reason:

The American entertainment media is the ultimate "decider" of American Presidential elections. Which nominee is more entertaining? Eye of Newt? Or Mitt Romney?

U decide.
Wow some strong view points are being expressed here, I don't know about them although, I did take his "get to work comment" with a sense of correct value. I would ideally like to think that people could connect with one another, but that is completely out of the ordinary. Most people deal with computers by todays standards, and hopefully lots of common sense. I understand that Newt was seeing another woman at the time when his wife was dying with cancer, (not too nice). But there are a couple of men out there with baggage like this, like it or not it happens. It just seems like it's a mans world, no matter what dumb excuses people can make, and many excuses could be thought up, it dosen't excuse being able to make clear decisions. Newt's go get a job attitutde lacks appendurture, as it dosen't dissolve the in-between status of the job, but that shouldn't matter, that is just too much minosha? I am not sure if I am spelling that correctly, I would almost like to say that Gigrich could be another Bush, I know alot of people may not identify why that would be a good thing, there needs to be clarification on what the issues are, are they indeed jobs? are they immirgration? are they taxing the rich? are they paying for contributions for campaigns? there are many blindsided areas that are still not clear for many voters, but Newt's approach has merit. Getting people to work, or getting people interested in understanding key concepts to getting work? Programs for poor kids? versus having kids who come from backgrounds that are different socially, economically and are just coming from a different sense of life, is where the sociological points are going to conflict, as I see it. Those are areas, that not all people will ideally see the same point, some people may strongly agree that kids from poor neighborhoods aren't given the advantages, but with so many cuts to social funding, where would the appropiations come from to start programs to help kids from poor to lower level neighborhoods get jobs or learn about job prepardeness? Then that leaves another area out side the discussing, looking the part, many kids are being geared now to dress correctly and there are still disagreements about that, so it still leads me to belive people would like to do what ever they feel is correct for there own self, with that being said how do we contend if Newt's double dare of go get a job, and clean up your attitude along with other mentors such as Trump, to trump up Newt's vote does it align with how the government's cuts are circumventing jobs, versus oversees the spending and other goverments that are also taking jobs from us such as the culprit of outsourcing, it's still well and alive. Maybe we can send our children over to third world countries to speak about poverty, regarding Afganistan, Pakistan, Asia, and yet other areas where poverty levels vary and people share huts as a way of life. We don't realize how good we have here in the States, is one obstacle in a more humanistic voice it would sound like taking care of those concerns and recognizing that sense of what makes the States so desireable. The focus for letting people belive that shared responsibility for the name of freedom is seldom free, and same diagnosis for living in a sense of non-freedom is not free either, both senses of living come with responsibility and from there comes growth towards a sense of worth for community and country.
sheepdog, if I'm wrong, I'll be equally bold with my contrition.

podiatrist, I think your post is a nice accompaniment to this one.

Tom Magstadt, if he's going to crash, it must be some real doozies in his closet since we know about so much already, and he's still polling well.

doloresflores, you may be right. He is certainly entertaining, in a stomach-churning kind of way.

MOMSACOMIC, you've written a lot, but I'll focus on the last sentence. A sense of community, of shared values, is a laudable goal, but Newt has done a lot in his career to tear that concept apart. His entire rise to political prominence was driven in large part on mean-spirited divisive character assassination and demagoguery. Sadly, many Americans seem to share his values in that regard, or at least overlook them.
I just saw an interesting poll; it showed Obama vs. Mitt, and Obama vs. Newt. It showed that Obama and Mitt were almost even, while Obama came out significantly ahead of Newt.

Mark my words. Newt will implode by January.
With the current line up, all Obama has to do is breathe and he's got another 4.
Jeezum crow. The apocalypse really is on the way. At least now I understand why there are all those Mormon commercials lately. I had been wondering.
If this is true, then Newt will be -- The. Most. Disgusting. Nominee. Ever!
Rick, An average of 7 polls published this week by Real Clear Politics gives Obama 48.7% and Gingrich 43%. The data was collected by the polling organizations during the month of November, but results just published. When Obama runs against Romney, the average of the same polls show Obama at 45.6 and Romney at 44.7. I do believe that if Gingrich becomes the nominee, his polls will go up, but that's just a hunch on my part.

Doug Socks, I'd be cautious predicting an easy ride for Obama, especially if the economy stays stagnant. His support among many liberals is weak, although if Gingrich is the GOP nominee they may come back into the fold. I really think many underestimate Gingrich's ability to get a big conservative turnout, like Bush did in 2004, and just like Obama did with progressives last time around.

Mumbletypeg, you learn something every day!

lefty, it would be a race that will be long and ugly.