Thursday, January 26, 2012

Florida CNN Debate

My debate wrap is up over at Plum Line. Short version: Newt got clobbered.

Here's your question for the night. Going in, Nate Silver's model (which is a weighted average over recent polls, with current momentum projected out to election day) says Florida is Mitt 40%, Newt 36%, Santorum 12%, Paul 10%. Newt was awful tonight, and I'll be shocked if it isn't spun that way within the GOP partisan press, since so many people have it in for the former Speaker. He also has Romney throwing a massive wall of attack ads at him on Florida TV. Santorum had a very solid night, and as far as I know he isn't being targeted on TV, at least not heavily. So: what are the odds that Santorum surges and clears, say, 20%? 25%? 30%?

Of course, I've pretty much always thought that Santorum was a bigger threat to Romney than Newt was -- even after South Carolina. Also, and I apologize for the self-congratulation but I'm sort of proud of this one: I pointed out last week that Newt's debate reputation was a fraud. Anyway, what probably happens now is that Romney wins Florida easily, but there's still time for that to go awry. What's not going to happen is Newt Gingrich becoming the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

1 comment:

  1. I think Gingrich is a better debater then most politicians I have seen and clearer did better in this cycle then anyone except possibly Santorum. I agree he got clobbered tonight. It was not because of his debating skills. It was because he has staked out positions GOP voters will not accept on immigration, Freddie Mac and space spending.

    When he gave a speech promoting a lunar colony he badly damaged his prospects. It may get a few votes in FL but most voters elsewhere think it is ridiculous and irresponsible under the current budget conditions. His desire to be a Big Ideas Man and still push such expensive nonsense has made him laughable.


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