Ding! Welcome to "Ringside Seat," The American Prospect’s daily guide to Election 2012. Each afternoon we'll send an end-of-the-day compendium of the campaign news you might have missed—but shouldn’t. Please send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and if you want to unsubscribe, you can do so below.
PROSPECTING IN IOWA
The Prospect’s Patrick Caldwell is on the ground in Iowa, where he’ll be reporting daily on the madness that just might—in three weeks—produce a frontrunner for the Republican nomination. Of course, it could also be the caucus that plunges the nomination process into a delightful chaos that lasts till June and beyond. The topsy-turvy race for Iowa voters is only getting wilder as January 3 nears, with a new poll showing Newt Gingrich’s lead evaporating and Ron Paul tying him. Paul looks strong with the state’s best ground game—and maybe the most resonant message. Meanwhile, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are flooding the airwaves with their millions, and a group of the state’s Christian Right leaders has started stumping for Michele Bachmann.
SO THEY SAY
"Just remember the higher a monkey climbs on a pole, the more you can see his butt. So, you know, the Speaker is very high on the pole right now and we'll see how people like the view."
—Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod,
musing about Newt Gingrich at a DNC briefing
DAILY MEME: APOCALYPSE, REPUBLICAN STYLE
- Kathleen Parker says Gingrich represents a GOP death wish.
- Jeffrey Toobin thinks the GOP’s “collective embrace of the unpalatable” could make 2012 comparable to 1964.
- A new poll shows only one in five Republicans think their field is “strong.”
- Glenn Beck threatens a third-party vote for Ron Paul if Gingrich is the nominee.
- Ryan Lizza compiles a list of conservatives vs. Newt.
WHAT WE'RE WRITING
- Harold Meyerson wonders if the Republican establishment will fall in line with Newt Gingrich if he starts strong.
- Paul Waldman asks whether the Republican base is willing to lose the White House.
WHAT WE'RE READING
- Nate Silver lays out Jon Huntsman’s road to the nomination(!).
- Rich Lowry says there’s no “new Newt.”
- Mark Halperin thinks a Gingrich nomination means a Bloomberg candidacy.
- The Donald calls off The Debate.
- Bishop Eugene Robinson lacerates “pathetic, infuriating” Rick Perry.
POLL OF THE DAY
In a Latino Decisions/impreMedia poll, 73 percent of Latino voters say that the Republican Party either ignores or is openly hostile to them. More than half say the Democrats are doing a good job reaching out to them.