If Newt wins the GOP presidential nomination:
I'm worried that it could mean the entire country will become a macrocosm of Delaware's last US Senate race -- where upstart Christine O'Donnell defeated long-time public service stalwart Mike Castle in the GOP primary ... thus effectively giving the Democrats (in the person of Chris Coons) the win in the general election.
Castle consistently out-polled Coons head-to-head, usually by double digits. On the other hand, Coons consistently out-polled O'Donnell -- also usually by double digits.
Now, what do we see in this year's presidential election? At this moment, it looks almost exactly what we saw in the aforementioned First State US Senate race: Obama beats Gingrich 50.6% to 39.6%. However, if the GOP nominee is Mitt Romney, the race (currently) is within the margin of error -- Obama's 46.9% to Romney's 45%.
Delaware's issue is that it is a blue state -- a very blue state. Hence, Mike Castle was a moderate Republican. Republicans from blue states tend to be, y'know, moderate -- mostly out of necessity. Every poll in the DE US Senate race said that Christine O'Donnell would essentially get crushed by Chris Coons, but the state's GOP electorate didn't care. They were going to "send a message." Did South Carolina Republicans just do the same thing? Newt's favorable to unfavorable ratings are pretty damn bad.
These two examples differ in one main respect: Gingrich is quite intelligent, whereas Christine O'Donnell could only spout off generalized talking points. But would this be enough for Newt if he's the GOP nominee? I do not know. Certainly, Newt would mop the floor with Obama in any debate; however, Newt's got a ton of baggage, and we know what the mainstream media will do about that.
It's only January. And by no means has Gingrich cemented the nomination. But I am worried after last night's primary results.
UPDATE: Veteran political reporter Jeff Greenfield thinks otherwise: "Not just SC: Didn't GOPers nationwide love seeing Newt sticking it to the 'bad guys'? I'm betting on a BIG, quick shift in national polls."Posted by Hube at January 22, 2012 09:34 AM | TrackBack