Newt Gingrich Holds Commanding Lead In Florida?

That’s what Public Policy Polling says, via the Miami Herald:

One-time poll cellar dweller Newt Gingrich is the new star on Florida’s political stage. But unlike with other presidential frontrunners, Gingrich’s support looks strong, with 41 to 47 percent of voters favoring the former House speaker, according to surveys released by InsiderAdvantage and Public Policy Polling, respectively.

Mitt Romney’s support is at 17 percent and starting to wane, both polls indicate. And Herman Cain’s numbers are also declining. He’s polling at 15 percent, a fall as he faces yet another sex-related allegation that he disputes…

“The biggest reason for Newt Gingrich’s rise is that he’s picked up the voters of Herman Cain and Rick Perry as their campaigns have fallen apart,” Tom Jensen, with Public Policy Polling, wrote in an analysis. “But these numbers make it pretty clear he’s doing more than that – some of Mitt Romney’s ‘25%’ is starting to fall off and move toward Newt as well.”

Romney has lost 13 percentage points since the last survey, conducted in September by Public Policy Polling, which typically surveys for Democrats. The two polls also indicate that Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum are stuck in single digits in Florida.

Ever since former House Speaker Newt Gingrich began to rise from the nether reaches of the Republican primary polls, mostly at the expense of self-destructing candidates Rick Perry and Herman Cain, it’s been our assumption that what he was really positioning himself for was a vice-presidential spot on somebody else’s ticket–like Mitt Romney’s.

This would be a little more complicated to pull off if the cuddly-but-thoroughly-unelectable (as president, anyway) Gingrich wins the nomination. We still very much doubt that will happen, but it’s hard to imagine a more telling indicator of would-be frontrunner Romney’s lack of traction than so many primary voters willing to entertain this succession of unqualified “alternatives.”

We think if you would have told Barack Obama in 2009 that Newt Gingrich would be jockeying for the lead in the GOP race to challenge him in 2012, he would have laughed at you.

And he would have said he couldn’t hope to be that lucky.

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. VanDammer says:

    OK, so Stay-Puft Neut shows up at a FL CPAC and he attacks the 99%’rs as stay-at-home unemployment insurance grifters at the FL debate but that won’t last him ’til February.  

    He has little to no campaign organization, in the early primary & caucus states so he must be banking on everyone lining up behind his fat ass after some kinda Iowa blowout — but it’s just NOT gonna happen.  

    Gingrich’s unconventional campaign is one “of ideas” based on using Twitter & his limited time in public debates to air his f*cked up message.  Iowa & early states really prefer boots on the ground so just not sure how Neut’s polarizing puffed up ponderous pontification plays.

    He’s skating by traditional GOP nom gatekeepers and the in-state party politicos & media mouthpieces to spike his polls.  This is either a big FU to the state parties (which would be in-line with his ego) or he’s got some other in — but regardless of his whack-a-mole pop up in the polls he just won’t last.

    Neut’s biggest flaw is his mouth coupled to his arrogant mind.  Voters don’t like to be belittled & talked down to by their candidates which are 2 Neut traits.  That and his ethical flaws have him taking on water after Iowa and going down by FL.  Wait & see …  

    • DavidThi808 says:

      I think Newt is an incredibly strong campaigner. Of course he’s throwing the base red meat right now, that’s required to win the primary. But I wouldn’t discount him for that.

      And I think he could be tough in the general. He’ll probably try to take credit for the Clinton boom and promise to bring that back. That could be a compelling message.

      • BlueCat says:

        There is so much ammo to bring out against Newt in a general and all of it comes to the fore with any attempt to look back into the Clinton era. There is a reason his own party booted him in the wake of all that.  

      • Aristotle says:

        I tried writing a response to this but gave up for want of a good phrase about Newt’s chances. Then I read this:

        His baggage, which would fill the cargo hold of a 747, almost certainly makes him unelectable as President.

        That whole article is worth a quick read. Newt Gingrich will not be our next president.

        • caroman says:

          That even Sw Airlines would charge him a baggage fee.  (That’s from our great columnist Mike Litwin.)

          Newt has so many skeletons he needs a warehouse, not a closet. (Me.)

  2. Half Glass Full says:

    The guy is a proven liar over and over and over again: “$300,000” for being FreddieMac’s “historian” most recently. All the lies he told to his various wives. His screwing around on his wives …

    He is such a piece of sh*t that I’m just amazed he’s made it this far.

    • He’s made $55 million as a not-lobbyist.

    • VanDammer says:

      I believe he’s had the hubris to teach a course on gov’t ethics at Kennesaw or do a chicken dinner tour with that as his paid-for topic.  But nevermind the 84 ethics charges filed against him during his term as Speaker or the unprecendented $300k fine he paid for federal tax shenanigans.  

      This same ass jumped on board to oust Dems after the House banking scandal even though he have 20+ overdrafts himself in his abuse of the system.  Neut’s moral & ethical lapses are monumental compared to any of the other GOP clowns in this race.  The Stay-Puft pundit just laughs to himself at the idiocy & ignorance of the GOP electorate.  

  3. No, he doesn’t have a good campaign organization.  He just (re-)set up offices in Iowa and New Hampshire the other week – they don’t even have furniture yet.  He wasn’t able to find enough delegates and alternates to fill his delegate slate in New Hampshire.

    But at this rate he’s going to win both as well as South Carolina, and Romney’s going to be looking like an idiot as a result.  It can and most likely will be enough to resurrect his campaign.  Remember – we wrote off John McCain last time around, too.

    If Newt is still riding the wave of the Not-Romney in four and a half weeks, he’s golden.  Romney hasn’t concentrated on Iowa, but rather in New Hampshire; unfortunately for him, the Union-Leader tagged Gingrich for the primary, and Republicans there actually listen to that paper.

    Kos has an article up today about the irrelevance of having Iowa and New Hampshire going first.  Admittedly, he has a beef about this sytem, but he’s got a good point: the only two people who have spent time on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire are Bachmann and Santorum – and it’s done absolutely nothing for them according to the polls.

    • sxp151 says:

      I still remember when Howard Dean was leading in the polls in December 2003, while Kerry and especially Edwards were far lower. The polls matter in Iowa, but organization matters much more. Plus he’s a blustering asshole, which goes over well with Republicans but eventually gets tiresome when it comes from the same guy.

      Santorum is the only one who hasn’t gotten a turn at the top (so he’s due in the next month), and his work in Iowa will pay off. He may not win Iowa, but I’d be surprised if he ends up with single-digit support out of that whole process. I think he could get in the top three easily.

  4. BlueCat says:

    Right. The only thing this latest not-Romney surge proves is that the GOP is in a pickle. The plethora of ironclad litmus tests and pledge demands they have fallen in love with as an easy way of energizing/pandering to their base has reached a point of diminishing returns.  Especially where the nationwide, independents dependent election for the presidency is concerned.

    And since an important requirement seems to be that a candidate not appear to be smart or well enough informed about, you know, anything, to offend the base with any hint of, horrors, a healthy intellect, will Newt now have to prove he can’t walk and chew gum at the same time to maintain his trajectory?

  5. dwyer says:

    Obama, government employees, “liberal press,”…..

    his repubs hate more than they love..their country..

    I can’t wait until we have a First Lady who f*#(C that porky pig figure while his second wife had MS….

    • BlueCat says:

      But, sue me, I can’t help enjoying that you did.  Knew about his serving first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery but had missed this about #2. #3 had better hope to stay healthy. Any diseases associated with hairspray abuse?  I bet there are bike helmets that can’t beat her ‘do for crash resistance.

    • Newt had philandering problems because the patriotism he worked up being House Speaker led him astray.  He’ll be fine as President, though.

      • BlueCat says:

        Society in general and the religious right in particular have always been  inclined to be easier on the sexual indiscretions of men than on those of women. The whole players vs sluts thing.

        If Newt ever did become the GOP presidential candidate, his wife would receive far more unavoidable press attention than she has to date and would have to endure some questions from the media.  She might have to do so before the primaries if Newt comes to be perceived as a serious threat to Romney and not just the latest flash in the not-Romney pan.

        If she were to be asked if she regrets having had an adulterous affair with a married man who subsequently divorced his wife to marry her, it’s difficult to imagine a response, including a refusal to respond, that would allow conservative Christian parents to feel entirely comfortable with her as their First Lady and role model for their daughters.  

        • Gray in Mountains says:

          “When I met this great American who was working so hard to try to prevent the collapse of the great nation it was clear that he needed me, he needed a partner to help him focus on the issues.”

  6. VanDammer says:

    Yeah some in out GOP base loves his whole belligerent intellectual act but there is no way that he’d be viable in the general election. Everyone who is likely to vote has had their minds made up about this guy for almost 20 years now, and pretty much everyone who’s not a staunch conservative thinks he’s a creep and blowhard of the first order.

    No way would I ever consider voting for Newt. I don’t see how anyone who isn’t already sold on him will either.

    So just who is polling for Newt?

    • I don’t know about the latest polling, but in polls up until the Newt Surge, GOP voters hadn’t actually made a firm commitment to anyone.

      But one thing it seems they know: if their primary candidate isn’t Romney, then they don’t want Romney.  And if they can’t get Cain, or Perry, or Bachmann, they’ll take Newt.

      I don’t understand it, either.  Newt has, as quoted above, more baggage than a 747.  He’s morally challenged, ethically challenged, factually challenged…  And it seems that GOP likely voters are inclined to set all of that aside for someone who isn’t Romney and who speaks their language (at least today).

  7. ohwilleke says:

    They’re dead ringers for each other in instincts and ideology and character.

  8. thiokuutoo says:

    I am waiting for the “Newt is a Catholic*” attacks to start.

    *or whatever religion he is this year

    • Aristotle says:

      what the more intolerant Protestants in the base think of his conversion. I don’t know how deep anti-Catholic sentiment runs with WASPy social cons these days. I hope it’s not too ingrained, but I know some sects believe that “Rome is the whore of Babylon” nonsense.

  9. I wrote this back in early June

    Based on my political ‘prognosticator’ abilities, I oughta open up a psychic hacienda for predictions –

    http://www.coloradopols.com/sh

    TEXT FROM JUNE 2011 –

    I think Palin is going to run – SarahPac just sent out 400,000 fundraising mailers – after running for office twice, no one understands the price of mailers better than me – 400,000??? That’s a Presidential campaign right there

    Analysis wise –

    Why Newt Gingrich –

    Newt is going to SMOKE everyone in the debates – that’s going to give him a great chance at taking the entire thing

    Why Sarah Palin –

    Amongst this haze of GOP Presidential candidates going back and forth on healthcare, medicare, cap-and-trade, etc… there’s a storm brewing in which, the GOP electorate is quickly going to gravitate to the one candidate that can beat his/her fist against the podium and yell, “I may not be an intellectual. I may not be well read. But you damn well know, I am a CONSERVATIVE. And more than intellect, I have a spine!”

    No one can make that speech better than Sarah Palin (and the reason why is because she can say and MEAN IT sincerely) – this could be the reason why she takes it

    3. Rudy Giuliani –

    Bigoted people ADORE Rudy Giuliani – I have NO way of substantiating this – all I can say is that, when I meet the most anti-immigrant GOPers, as well as the most anti-Muslim ones, they all say they’re voting for Giuliani en masse

    To me, Giuliani’s polling is the finest reflection for how truly bigoted the GOP is today – if he’s polling at 30% (for example) then that’s 30% of the GOP that quite possibly believes that we should wage war against the Muslim World, with the goal being the extinction of every Muslim individual

    Honestly, if Giuliani was running for President against Slovadan Milosevic, and they were the only two choices, I would vote for Milosevic — based on his treatment of Muslims in NYC, I would HATE to see a Giuliani Presidency

    4. Other Candidates –

    TPaw is going NOWHERE – mark these words – Michelle Bachman will get more in Iowa than TPaw – TPaw, as a matter of fact, will struggle to break 15% in Iowa, thus ending his campaign for good

    Romney is at his best right now when he can fundraise – once the debates start, he’ll be a trainwreck – I’ve had yet to see Romney perform well in a debate (sans the 2002 Massachusetts Governor’s debate, but I thought his opponent was a weak debater)

    I would BET money that Newt Gingrich will be the nominee, simply on the basis that he’s going to smoke everyone in the debates – if not Newt, then it’ll be Sarah Palin

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