Will Newt Win? Lets Ask President Giuliani!

December 7th, 2011 at 1:30 pm | 21 Comments |

| Print

Though Newt Gingrich seems to be styling himself as the inevitable nominee, a look back at the polling in during the Republican primary race in late 2007 suggests that Gingrich’s camp should not get too confident yet.

In December 2007, no polls seemed to show McCain as the frontrunner. Instead, Giuliani and a fast-rising Mike Huckabee tended to dominate in polling.

A CNN poll released December 10 showed McCain at 13%, while Giuliani and Huckabee were at 24% and 22%, respectively.

A CBS poll released that same day had even worse news for McCain: 7% of the nationwide Republican primary vote. Meanwhile, Giuliani and Huckabee were cruising at 22% and 21%, respectively.

The Florida primary was a huge step for McCain toward the Republican nomination, but, in early December 2007, he was an also-ran. Polls showed him between twenty and thirty points behind frontrunner Giuliani. As December went on, Huckabee climbed, but McCain remained mired in the low teens.

The dynamic of this cycle has differed from the 2007-2008 primary race in a lot of ways, so this isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. But the fact remains that neither Mike Huckabee nor Rudy Giuliani made it on to the 2008 GOP ticket. The history of presidential politics is filled with candidates who presumed to inevitability after a surge in the polls only to find themselves not quite so inevitable after all (just ask Rick Perry, who seemed on the verge of having a lock on the nomination in the early fall). The GOP primary race is still very much alive.

Originally Posted at A Certain Enthusiasm.

Recent Posts by Fred Bauer

21 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    “so this isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.”

    So why bother making it? Is the Republican race still fluid? Of course it is. Have expectations of a coronation for Romney as the default candidate substantially narrowed over the past two or three weeks? Of course they have. Does Newt look much less of a long shot than he did 4-8 weeks ago? Of course he does.

    Btw Democrats needing a morale booster (they do seem to need them more than Republicans for some reason) need only betake themselves to a few Republican blogs and survey the comment threads over which a pervasive air of doubt hangs as they speculate gloomily about brokered conventions that will blow away Newt and Romney, last minute white knights, and agonizing over adultery and flip floppery. As is often the case Erick Erickson wins the top hypocrisy award for endless bloviating about how he finds it next to impossible to support a serial adulterer in the primaries because of its uniquely immoral character… but guarantees that he will give his support to either Gingrich or Romney whichever emerges as the candidate.

  • heap

    comparing gingrich to any other politician seems kinda fruitless – can you think of many others who not only have skeletons in the closet, but take them out for photo-ops and label them as proud accomplishments….or 3rd wives?

    the point is well made – the GOP race is still very much alive – the only thing inevitable is no matter how crazed and irrational the field looks now, it only gets worse once ballots start flying.

  • Lonewolf

    As we handicap which of the floaty bits will eventually rise to the surface of the Republican cask, let us remember that they’re all – all – merely the orts and lees from an essentially empty barrel of ideas. What dregs remain are sour, bitter and unpalatable to the American voter. In November, their response to the uppermost bit, whichever one it may be, will still be to turn and spit.

  • wileedog

    I don’t know if Newt will win, but the constant rise and fall of the NotRomney’s suggest the voters want anyone but Mitt.

    It may not be Newt who is left standing when the music stops, but the only viable alternative who hasn’t shot himself in both feet yet is Huntsman, and nobody looks that interested in him at the moment.

    • icarusr

      “but the constant rise and fall of the NotRomney’s suggest the voters want anyone but Mitt.”


      In 2007, there was no Tea Party; we did not have the spectacle of one joker rising and falling as Leading Clown; the flawed candidate – only Palin would show exactly how flawed – was not quite as awful as Romney is today, and he had torture scars to boot. And so on.

      I mean, if the Republican leadership wants to persuade itself that the Tea Party is not quite so suicidal politically and so hateful of their own country to want to have the adulterous pig as their nominee and potential president, let it. I trust the evidence of – well, Angle and the Witch. And that guy in Alaska.

      • lilmanny

        I was going to post the same thing basically (this ain’t no 2007) but you said it much better and much more raw.

        The 2007 nominating process did not see the whipsaws that we are seeing now and was much more, um, what’s a word that describes the opposite of a reality show?

        Things were fluid, but not a sticky mess like this is.

  • hopitab

    Also, let’s not forget that the primaries are occurring earlier this year, so comparisons from the 2008 December polls are flawed as well on chronological grounds.

  • Oldskool

    As much fun as Gingrich would be as the nominee, I’d rather see how Romney fares in prime time. A couple of months ago he looked as jittery as a teenage boy surrounded by priests.

  • Nanotek

    “Will Newt Win? Lets Ask President Giuliani!”



  • dante

    You realize that even if this comparison is valid, it’s NOT good news for Romney, right? You have to look not just at which candidates had what support this early in the game, but also where their supporters went when their candidate faltered. Giuliani faltered in Iowa and NH, and it’s not surprising that his supporters gravitated towards McCain (one of the more moderate candidates). The same is also probably true of Romney’s supporters, as he was another of the more moderate candidates, and when he got trounced in NH it’s no wonder that his supporters turned to McCain. Huckabee’s supporters, on the other hand, stayed with him after NH, and didn’t move to another candidate even after his campaign floundered.

    So what that tells me is to not look at who’s ahead in the polls, but at what ‘voting blocs’ are out there, and who would pick up the votes if a leading candidate stumbles? This is where Romney falls flat on his face, as aside from some Huntsmen votes I can’t see any of the voters for any other candidates moving towards him. Let’s assume that the top three candidates (Romney, Gingrich, Paul) stay in the race at about where they are, and the rest of the candidates drop out.

    So, according to Gallup, that’s:

    Gingrich: 37%
    Romney: 22%
    Paul: 8%

    That leaves ~20% of the primary voters (who are currently supporting other candidates) up for grabs. Perry’s 7%, Bachmann’s 6% and Santorum’s 3% certainly aren’t going to go to Romney, as they’ve all been in the “Anybody but Romney” camp. They’ll either stay home or (more likely) vote for Gingrich.

    Flipping that around, let’s say Gingrich falters… I can’t imagine that his 37% (having come from Cain, and previously from Perry, and even before that from Bachmann) going to Romney in any large numbers. Let’s say 85% of them go to whichever other (conservative) candidate surprised everyone and did well in Iowa/NH. That’s 31.5% to a conservative candidate, and 5.5% to Romney. That’s still more than enough to push any of the candidates (including someone like Santorum) ahead of Romney by a 5+% margin.

    Furthermore, with proportional voting, one (or more) candidates could easily become king-maker. If Gingrich and Romney each have ~40% when all is said and done, and Perry has 10 and Santorum has 3, who do you *really* think that they’re going to instruct their delegates to vote for?

    What I’m saying is that right now the “Romney Bloc” is about 25% (Romney + Huntsmen). The “Anyone But Romney Bloc” is about 53%, the Ron Paul bloc is 8% (and few of his supporters will move towards other candidates). That leaves 17% in the “Other/None/Someone else/Haven’t made up their minds Bloc”, and even if ALL of them swing towards Romney, it’s still not enough.

    It might not be Gingrich… It might be Santorum, or Perry, or…. But what I do know is that it’s probably not going to be Romney.

    edit: Gallup poll for the numbers above: http://www.gallup.com/poll/151355/Gingrich-Romney-Among-GOP-Voters-Nationwide.aspx

    • JohnMcC

      Like you, Mr Dante, I was astonished that our hosts on this Forum selected Mr Giuliani for their headline. The cornerstone of his 2008 campaign was that losses in Iowa, NH and SC would be offset by his Florida ‘firewall’. A Floridian these days, I thought there might be some logic to that; when my Tampa Bay Rays host the Yankees it’s interesting to see the New Yorkers turn out to root for their (former) home team. The poll linked to by Mr Dante and Mr Otto shows what that is worth to Mr Romney. Seems that when New Englanders retire down here they leave their politics behind.

  • LFC

    “Though Newt Gingrich seems to be styling himself as the inevitable nominee…”

    I know Newt has a massive ego, but I assume that this is a stance taken by most front runners in hopes of diminishing and trivializing their opponents in the eyes of the voters.

  • Graychin

    Of course the race isn’t over, but Newt isn’t a one-note candidate like Giuliani was. Remember “a noun, a verb, and 9/11″?

    If/when Newt fails, at least he won’t set the all-time record for money spent in the winning of exactly one delegate.

    • LFC

      And let’s not forget that Rudy was actually running on his 9/11 record which we realized was HORRIBLE once we learned how he moronically overrode real security experts and demanded that the city’s emergency response center be in the single biggest target they had.

      Newt, on the other hand, is running on a shining successful record of … uuuuuh … never mind.

  • Houndentenor

    I remember well that in 2007 the “inevitable” nominees were Rudy and Hillary. So much for inevitability!

    Also, Rudy and Newt had something else in common…three wives each!

  • bdtex

    The difference is that the polls in December 2007 showed McCain doing better in the general election against Hillary and Barack than Giuliani. That’s why McCain won the GOP nomination.

    • Graychin

      So you’re saying that the GOP has just been sowing oats with Bachmann, Perry, Cain and Newt, but will get sensible and marry Romney?

      I don’t think so. This time they want to marry a bad boy who talks tough – not necessarily a good provider.

  • Baron Siegfried

    You know, if the primaries are as muddled as it looks as though they might be, if there’s no clear winner going in to the convention, the carnival we’re seeing now will look like a traveling petting zoo in comparison. If there’s no winner on the first two ballots, then all the delegates are released . . . which, I believe, is politispeech for “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!”. The resulting contretemps should . . . amusing (I say that because while I do enjoy a good trainwreck, I’m not riding that particular train).

    I’m going to stock up on popcorn, cotton candy, and beer because certain things should be eaten while watching the circus . . .

    • Graychin

      Baron, I’m with you on the possibility of a “dogs of war” convention, especially if Ron Paul stays strong.

      If that happens, who do you think will emerge? Jeb Bush? Has Bush Fatigue worn off yet?

  • abc123

    Horrible comparison… Giuliani beat himself when he decided not to compete until the Florida primaries, and by then he had lost all momentum to McCain. Newt is not making the same mistake. Sssooo…… ?