Ron Paul's Threat to Gingrich

With his vast trail of scandals and long list of enemies, Newt Gingrich is unlikely to win the Republican presidential nomination, even if he’s leading the polls. But if you were to imagine a path to the nomination for the former House speaker, it would begin in Iowa. A strong win in the Iowa caucuses would provide Gingrich with the momentum necessary to place well in New Hampshire (or win it, under the right circumstances). With the momentum of two primaries behind him, Gingrich would cruise to victory in South Carolina and Florida and finish January as the presumptive nominee.

Iowa is a must-have for Gingrich, which is why Ron Paul’s surge—he is tied with Gingrich in the latest survey from Public Policy Polling—is so dangerous. A Ron Paul win in Iowa would both derail Gingrich and help Mitt Romney as he navigates through the New Hampshire primary. In that sense, Paul is Romney’s greatest ally in the Republican presidential primaries. If Paul can keep Gingrich from building momentum, then Romney finishes January in a strong position, even if he underperforms in South Carolina and Florida; the February contests—Nevada, Maine, Colorado, Minnesota, Arizona, and Michigan—are far more friendly to Romney than they are to Gingrich or anyone else in the race.

It should be said that anti-Romney conservatives aren’t hopeless if Ron Paul clips the wings from Gingrich’s campaign; Texas Governor Rick Perry is working to improve his stock in Iowa, and conservative elites around the country are beginning to give him a second look. Most recent is conservative commentator Eric Erickson, who urged conservatives to reconsider Perry in a post at Red State:

If you were to look at the candidates on the Republican side, I suspect you might agree with me that the best person to put up against a man arguing that the government should pick winners and losers is the guy who grew up dirt poor on a farm without indoor plumbing who joined the military, served his country, became a farmer, and then got into government culminating in the most impressive job creation record of any Governor in America at this time. […]

I think, given the direction the Obama team intends to head with their campaign theme, we would be crazy not to reconsider Perry, given how effective his biography and life story would be combatting that theme.

If Perry performs well in Iowa, expect conservatives to tout him as the real alternative to Romney. Of the candidates, he’s still the best positioned to challenge the former Massachusetts governor.

Comments

Wow, how do you go from Paul derailing Gingrich, helps Romney win the nomination. Unless, of course, Perry does well. How about Ron Paul doing well helps Ron Paul win the nomination? Oh, but that might interfere with Obama running against Romney which is what the DNC wants. Why? Because they know Paul beats Obama in the General Election.

Truly, I would not mind seeing Ron Paul win the nomination as, despite his being out-to-lunch on a wide range of issues, he has core values, is consistent, has some good policy ideas, and would be neutered by his own party in Congress if he tried to push forward with the nutty stuff. (They would undermine him on most of his better ideas as well, but that's a whole 'nother story.)

But really, if you want a Republican to win election, Ron Paul has zero chance. The DNC isn't afraid of Paul - if the Republican Party wants to forge ahead with the fantasy that "Paul beats Obama in the General Election", they'll be happier than they would be if Gingrich were nominated. It's moot, though, because if Paul actually were to show any sign of pulling into the lead his own party would go into overdrive to tear him down.

Ron Paul is a delusional old man. His foreign policy ideas are dangerous to America. I want him to go away and stop trying to feed his ever growing ego.

As fantasy tickets go, how about one in which Paul reaches across party lines and chooses Dennis Kucinich as his running mate. Could be fun?

Delusional? His respect for the constitution, thorough knowledge of economics and early predictions of our current economic state, his determination not to commit to any more illegal wars show a refreshing commitment to the values of America's founding fathers. Anyone else will be more of what we've had the past couple decades.
The press is doing its best to convince those unwilling to do their own research that he is fringe and can't win, but enough of us have had it with the (Bilderberg CFR) "free press" and done our own reading. If Ron Paul doesn't win we are cooked. Many people just like yourself have committed to Ron Paul after reading his own words (as opposed to the main stream media's). Give it a try!
Ron Paul 2012!

You say, "Iowa is a must-have for Gingrich" - I'm not sure I agree. With Iowa's caucus system, even if we overlook all other factors, Gingrich is at a serious disadvantage going in.

Should he again rise in the polls, I'm also not sure that Perry can overcome the poor first impression he has created. The political media tends to shape the news to fit their impression (or should I say caricature) of a candidate, so I expect he'll get the G.W. Bush / Dan Quayle treatment whenever he says something foolish. (All candidates say foolish things, but when the candidate has been deemed "smart" by the press they treat it as an aberration, even though by any objective measure it's no different from the gaffe of a candidate they have deemed "not so smart".)

Three words (or one name):

Richard Milhouse Nixon.

A lot of people hated Nixon in 1968 but he still became President. Never underestimate fiendish tenacity, blatant mendacity, and the overall gullibility of the American electorate.

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