Sunday, January 22, 2012

How did Newt Gingrich win South Carolina? And how did Mitt Romney lose?

Why did Newt win and Mitt lose?  The general consensus from the links below, Mitt Romney is not a very good campaigner and Newt, for all his flaws, managed to connect with the voters:  
Romney Newtered.  This vote was an utter repudiation of Romney, and it absolutely will be repeated in state after state if something doesn’t change the basic dynamic of the race. Newt Gingrich will deny it, but the South Carolina vote was really a referendum on Romney.Gingrich has been a markedly better campaigner than Romney.  Twelve days ago, Mitt was the toast of the GOP. This morning he’s just toast.  Those who don't know me will certainly condemn me as a liberal for saying this, but the crowd's reaction, the "Newt! Newt! Newt!" and the fist pumping are clear indications of the desperation conservatives feel these days.  Gingrich is Churchillian?  
James Carville on CNN: "He might have been a great CEO, I'm saying he has been a lousy candidate so far. He doesn't do well on his feet."  "Gingrich wiped the floor with Romney in South Carolina. I think that's the thing. This 14-point victory, this is big enough that it shakes up everything in this race. The question is how does the establishment react?," NBC's Chuck Todd said.  Hugh Hewitt, one of Mitt Romney's greatest supporters claimed Newt channeled Andrew Breitbart to win South Carolina!  

The Marianne Gingrich's attack?  Ann Coulter said this previously on Newt's infidelities:  
Before angry rebels foist another Sharron Angle on the national party and turn a likely win into a landslide defeat, consider that Gingrich is almost certainly unelectable based solely on his having cheated on and divorced two wives. This isn't just a personal moral position. You may call it a historical fact. 
Yet Gingrich edged out Romney with married female voters in South Carolina.  Ann Althouse liked that SC Republicans did not fall for the bait.  Glenn Reynolds posted this email he received that may explain what happened:      

A female reader writes that Gingrich may not have been so hurt by ex-wife Marianne’s TV interview:
Hate to say this and don’t use my name, but I watched the interview and thought
“You bitch, he cheated on his first wife with you. What the heck did you expect?”
That may explain it.
Compare this to Maureen Dowd's op-ed about Barack Obama
The Obamas truly feel like victims. But Newt Gingrich, who campaigns by attacking the culture of victimization, plays one on stage. He soared at the Charleston CNN debate by brazenly proclaiming himself the victim of “the elite media protecting Barack Obama” (the same Obama who told Time he was victimized by the press). Newt’s gambit was a calculated way of deflecting attention from a charge by his second wife, Marianne, that the family values he preaches are hypocritical platitudes, given his cheating ways with two wives he divorced when they were ill.
Could 2012, remarkably, be a race between two powerful victims yearning to be lonely at the top?
These GOP primaries are not about really about Newt, Romney or any of the current Republican candidates.  The GOP candidates are all flawed.  The primary concern for all voters right now is the economy.   Republican voters in particular fear a complete economic meltdown if things continue as they have under Barack Obama. The general election will be a referendum on Barack Obama:  And Republican voters want a candidate who will take the fight to Obama.   Why did Newt Gingrich win?  In South Carolina which candidate best showed he could take the fight to Obama?  

Prior Posts:
Did Mitt lose South Carolina over Mormonism? (I think not)  
What is the Matter with Rick Santorum
Can Newt win the nomination and then the general...
Update:  Mitt Romney's Pawlenty Moment...

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