Sunday, January 29, 2012

Newt Gingrich's Impossible Road to the White House..

The Speaker's Leaving Too Many Spots Blank For The Nomination..

     We're 2 days away from the Florida Primary, and although things are not crystal clear, they are starting to clarify a bit.  No, we don't see anyone in the GOP wrapping up the nomination anytime soon. Newt Gingrich is running a close second to Mitt Romney, which is nothing to be embarrassed about.  But second place is the first loser, and there is no Miss Congeniality in presidential races.. Candidates often try to minimize their weaknesses, and Gingrich has a major problem on his hands - his organization. 

     Mitt Romney's strength is that he has a nationwide organization, while Gingrich put all his marbles in South Carolina. It paid off well here, but to win, you need a lot more than South Carolina. It's a national race, and Gingrich simply has not put together a national team...and it may be too late.

     It's all numbers.  According to numerous sources, Gingrich has failed to qualify to be on the ballot all over the place.  There are over 2000 delegates up for grabs, and you need about 1100 to win.  Gingrich is giving up on 544 of those contested delegates. Simply put, Newt has no shot at almost 25% of the delegates.  He's giving Romney half of what he needs to get the nomination.  He'd have to win more than 2/3 of the remaining ones left to win, and with most of them being awarded proportionally by votes, that is almost impossible.  Winning a winner take all state like Florida would cut about 10% of that off, but it's starting to look doubtful. If he loses Florida, then he is theoretically almost 600 delegates down. Game On? Nope. More like Game Over....

    It all still has to play out, but organizationally, Newt Gingrich is behind the 8-ball... He's far from dead. If he can find that fire he caught in the SC debates, he could come back.  Votes count more than money or commercials, but it takes an organization to get on the ballot, and Gingrich missed the boat when he lost his gang last Summer...  It's gonna be a tough climb.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mike--let me give you my perspective/thought on the GOP 2012 race so far:

At a time when most candidates should have been out beating the tall grass for dollar donors, setting up state/local supporters and organizations and lining up their 30-60-90day schedules, Newt takes a two week cruise!! From the outside it does not appear to be the smartest play in the ole political handbook.

The fallout was swift and devastating: a large number (up to all if you believe some of the MSM reports)of his senior staffers/advisors quit, including SCGOP's own Katon Dawson. The result of Newt's personal version of Gilligan's Island was the sudden appearance and surge of Governor Rick Perry into the ranks of the Presidential contenders with less than spectacular final results.

Gov. Perry's rapid rise in the polls was due, in part, to Katon and his crew's hard work and experience. But hard work/dedication/determination can only go so far in Presidential politics. The writing began to appear on the wall when Perry was asked about his plan for the economy and jobs, remember the answer? It was coming out at the end of the week! I still think he should have said his dog ate it his plan!

Next came the debate Opps moment from hell. If you are going to have a mental moment; on stage in front of God, country and CNN is not the best place to have it. Especially when it concerns three agencies you have been promoting cutting since you got into the race…and…and….Opps!!. At this point, even the most neophyte of political pundits could literally watch a candidate and his campaign implode on live TV.

The end result is what we have witnessed since the first of the year; three races, three different winners. One has to wonder if Gov. Perry had not jumped in, if Katon and crew had stayed on the SS Minnow, if Newt had cancelled his vacation and concentrated on the campaign could we be looking at a different scenario in Florida? As it stands, Gov. Perry’s has shown he is not ready for prime time (or daytime/late night or even early morning TV). Katon Dawson has seen his political stock fall due to Newt’s and Perry’s performances and actions (can we say OUCH??), while Speaker Gingrich did rally his base but it appears to be too little to late with no money left to contend with. Like I said at the start- what political hand book were these guys reading in the summer of 2011?

I suspect at a minimum we would be looking at much closer race between Newt and Mitt, had the Speaker cancelled his Love Boat cruise. Now at best, Newt/Santorum/Paul will insure that Romney is hopefully properly vetted by the GOP and anything that could hurt Romney's drive for the White House will be dealt with long before the RNC convention.

The failure to do so could quickly turn the 2012 election cycle from a less than memorable episode of Gilligan's Island to a spectacular “Voyage of the Damned” and the GOP and this country are pulled along for the ride with no lifeboats or life jackets in sight. Let’s just hope that no one picks the song from the original “Poseidon Adventure” as a campaign theme song—you know... “there’s got to be a morning after”….teg