From Sea to Shining Sea?

If you’ve been listening to the pundits, you might think that the only open question in Florida tonight is whether Mitt Romney will croon America the Beautiful in his victory speech.  After that, it’ll be a rose-pedal path to the nomination for the man who establishment-bombed and super PAC-ed Newt Gingrich to death in the Sunshine State. But if the topsy-turvy GOP nomination contest should teach us anything, it’s to say: Whoa there, hold your divinations! Gingrich may have proven as lousy a candidate in Florida as he was devilishly effective in South Carolina, but a couple of factors—aside from his sheer cussedness—could propel him forward at least until the Super Tuesday primaries in early March. If Romney’s margin of victory is less than 10 percent, he’ll fall short of the sky-high expectations generated by his rise in recent days—and show that, even while outspending his nearest competitor five-to-one, he can’t quite land a knockout blow. And if the combined vote for Gingrich and Rick Santorum exceeds Romney’s total, it will add some fuel to the former house speaker’s argument that a conservative “consensus” candidate—meaning himself—can still best the “Massachusetts moderate” in a protracted battle. As much as elite Republicans might wish it, the campaign won’t likely be over when (or if) the well-coiffed gentleman sings. 


So They Say

"If you ask any question or criticize the president, it’s always racist, no matter what. If you said how come he doesn’t reveal his marks in school, was he a bad student? The answer is yes. Because I’ve been told. If you say that you’re a racist.” 

Daily Meme: General-Electability


William Galston: Why Democrats should be worried about Romney.
Is Romney actually electable
Mark Levin: Romney worries me. 
American Spectator: Romney will lose to Obama. 
Washington Examiner: Romney will beat Obama. 
Fine, but who sings better?  


What We're Writing

  • In Florida, Patrick Caldwell watches Gingrich find yet another target of his ire: Goldman Sachs.
  • Anthony Kammer writes that we can’t blame Citizens United for all our campaign-finance atrocities. 

What We're Reading

Michael Tomasky: Democrats can win with an economic argument that helping the middle class leads to growth. 
Jeffrey Goldberg: How to decode a dog-whistle.
Please don’t go: Daily Intel gives Gingrich five reasons to stay in the race forever. 
Tom Junod: Yes, there’s an intelligence gap between the parties.
Rick Perry may have lost the nomination, but he won Tumblr

Poll of the Day

Pew finds that GOP voters continue to be dissatisfied with their candidates, while independents say that Obama understands the problems of average Americans far better than Romney or Gingrich.