Newt Gaining Ground

A new Rasmussen Poll shows Newt Gingrich suddenly closing on Mitt Romney, within real striking distance now, as Gingrich is now at 27%, to Romney’s 30%.  That’s substantial closure, and if this translates into movement in South Carolina over the next few days, Romney will be in trouble.  Of course, as I reported earlier today, Romney has a remedy, and his campaign is already cranking up the “Newt is unreliable and zany” meme.  It’s another reason people should be wary of what’s coming out of the Romney campaign in the run-up to the South Carolina primary, and it’s now intensifying.

According to the Rasmussen poll:

“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters nationwide shows Romney with 30% support and Gingrich with 27% of the vote. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, who was running second two weeks ago, has now dropped to 15%.”

That’s a good deal of movement, and they stress this point as follows:

“But the story in the new numbers, taken Tuesday night, is Gingrich’s jump 11 points from 16% two weeks ago. Romney’s support is essentially unchanged from 29% at that time, while Santorum is down six points from 21%. Paul’s and Perry’s support is also unchanged. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman earned four percent (4%) of the vote at the start of the month but dropped out of the race this week. This suggests that many voters are still looking for an alternative to Romney and currently see Gingrich as that candidate.”

This has always been the case:  Conservatives are looking for a non-Romney candidate, and Romney’s strategy has been to attack whomever the leading non-Romney may be at the moment.  We’ve watched the progression over the last year, and it’s predictable.  Much of the gains by Gingrich is suspected to be related to his tremendous performance in Monday’s debate.

I’m of a mind to agree with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who wants to see this nomination battle play out over a longer period so we can more fully examine the records of the candidates.  I think that Romney is only now really beginning to be looked at by the media, and he certainly seems to have more warts than once believed.  If we’re going to defeat Obama in 2012, we’ll need a candidate who can withstand the onslaught we all know will be forthcoming as Obama seeks to retain power so as to continue his “fundamental transformation.”  It’s my own belief that Romney can’t beat Obama under current circumstances, bad as we may perceive it to be, and putting up a weak candidate will not help our cause.

Update: Romney already going after Gingrich

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