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
Daily Meme: General-Electability
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
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.