“The Republican Party has gone insane,” influential conservative commentator Erick Erickson wrote this morning. He was referring to GOP’ers support for Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, despite those candidates’ one-time backing of individual mandates to buy health insurance—a cardinal sin for conservatives. But he might just as well have been talking about the Republican nomination race writ large, which has turned into a political version of Pick Six. Fifteen days before the Iowa caucuses, the Gingrich bubble has burst, his support dropping by half. Ron Paul is leading in Iowa now—unless, of course, he’s actually already lost. Romney is the inevitable nominee again—though a few days ago he was a dead man walking. Perry and Bachmann and Santorum are all sneaking up on the frontrunners in Iowa, while Jon Huntsman is climbing in New Hampshire.
Everyone’s a winner!
So They Say
“We posed for a picture, just celebrating the fact that we had raised a lot of money and then we hoped to be able to return it with a good return.”
—Mitt Romney, explaining the infamous Bain Capital cash-flashing photo on Fox News Sunday
Daily Meme: Planet Newt Crashes to Earth
- He’s weird.
- He wants to arrest activist judges.
- He’s been hurt by negative ads.
- He’s constitutionally crazy.
- He’s toast.
What We’re Writing
- Scott Lemieux says GOP candidates are missing the point when they rail about the federal courts.
- Patrick Caldwell reports that Iowa’s GOP elite won’t be pleased if Paul wins the caucus.
What We're Reading
- E.J. Dionne explains how Newt’s always been the same, and the Republican elite has always hated him for the same reasons.
- Scott Brown, with an eye to 2012, blasts GOP’s congressional leaders for not making a deal on the payroll tax cut yet.
- Ten RedState contributors say: “Don’t Settle: Rick Perry for President.”
- Best news of the day: Martin Amis is covering the campaign.
- New Meme Alert: The Weekly Standard digs into Paul’s “lucrative and decades-long promotion of bigotry and conspiracy theories.”
Poll of the Day
The latest PPP poll shows Gingrich tanking in Iowa; Paul leading; Romney second; and Bachmann, Santorum and Perry lurking.