What happens after Florida’s Republican primary today, which polls show Mitt Romney leading by double digits as the official ballot-casting day arrives? For Newt Gingrich, the answer may lie in some of his state’s most famous military history.
First, the other candidates:
Mitt Romney will be working to solidify his lead. The fact that there are only caucuses over the week after the Florida contest (except for a meaningless primary in Missouri which will not result in the allocation of delegates) can only help the former Massachusetts governor whose caucus organization is only matched by Ron Paul’s.
Despite coming to Colorado on Wednesday to campaign ahead of that swing state’s February 7th caucuses, Rick Santorum will soon get out of the race primarily because he’ll be out of money but he will say (and it will to some degree be true) that it’s to be with his youngest daughter who was born with an inevitably fatal genetic anomaly and whose health has been bad in recent days. There are two things which could make this prediction wrong: First, the fact that he really doesn’t have anything else to do and he’s proven that he’s willing and able to stick around on the lowest of budgets. Second, if he dislikes Newt Gingrich more than he dislikes Mitt Romney, he could stay in just to keep trying to split the “anti-Romney” vote. Your guess is as good as mine, though I’d have to think Santorum would prefer Gingrich to Romney.
Ron Paul, who will also be in Colorado this week, will never get out of the race because he, like Santorum, has nothing else to do (since he’s retiring from Congress after this term), and he has plenty of money to keep going. But he’s basically a non-event since Ron Paul voters are just as likely to vote Libertarian, Democrat, or not at all, as to support either Romney or Gingrich. He will not run on the Libertarian ticket because it would put his son in an impossible position.
Newt Gingrich has said that he intends to stay in until the nominating convention, and given how deeply personal his antagonism toward Mitt Romney has become, it’s hard to see that as an idle boast. Newt is out for blood, feeling that he would be leading the chase for the nomination if only Romney weren’t so well funded, and feeling wronged at every turn by a “Massachusetts liberal” dissembler. This despite a Gallup poll released Monday showing that on the question of who is more “sincere and authentic,” Americans give Romney a 14 point edge over the former Speaker of the House…not to mention a 20 point lead on the question of presidential personality and leadership skills.
Please read the rest of my article for the American Spectator here:
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