Quinnipiac currently has Newt Gingrich at 44% to Obama’s 46% in their polls in Florida; in Ohio, Gingrich is besting Obama 43-42%, and Rasmussen Reports recent nationwide poll has 75% of respondents indicating the country is on the wrong track.
While polls conducted nationwide show President Obama beating Newt Gingrich by about 5 percentage points, Al Gore taught us over a decade ago that presidential elections are not won on the basis of the popular vote. The Electoral College is king, and in the past 3 presidential elections, Ohio and Florida were the states to watch if you wanted to predict the winner. Right now, Obama and Newt Gingrich are in a dead heat in both states.
Sure, conventional wisdom would suggest that Newt Gingrich has the best chance of winning the Republican Presidential nomination, but Mitt Romney would have a much better shot at defeating President Obama in the general election. Democrats are supposed to be filled with glee at the prospect of taking on Freddie Mac’s errand boy, Newt Gingrich, next November…but it may not work out quite as well as they’re hoping.
First, let’s examine the mood of America. People are pissed. There is no polite or gentle way to say it, and anger in America has been brewing since the Bush Administration. In 2006, voters rejected a sitting President and gave the Democratic Party control of Congress. Two years later, in 2008, it was clear the Republican Party was not going to get a third presidential term…and it seemed just as clear that Hillary Clinton was the “inevitable” nominee of the Democratic Party. But, as Mitt Romney now knows, when Americans hear the word inevitable, in the voting booth that translates into incumbent. In a land where 75% of the citizens think the country is on the wrong track, incumbent is a dirty word. Republican primary voters are choosing the candidate that best expresses their anger at Obama, just like Democrats chose the candidate in 2008 that gave the best voice to their anger at the Bush administration. Democrats didn’t listen then to those who claimed Hillary Clinton was the only candidate capable of defeating John McCain, so why should Republicans listen when told Mitt Romney is their only chance to beat Obama?
To this writer, it sure looks like Newt Gingrich could go the distance. Yes, he is a gross little man who served his first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery. But he’s on his third wife, so what about wifey number 2? Oh, that’s right, Newt Gingrich cheated on her with his intern, the lady currently serving time as Newt’s wife number three…the lady who was his intern and paramour while Newt Gingrich was leading the charge to impeach Bill Clinton for having an affair with an intern of his own. But all of that is old news, and Newt Gingrich is still on the rise.
In a time when the Occupy movement is leading a charge towards justice and equality for the 99%, and when the President of the United States winks and nods at the protestors and issues a call for “a fair play, a fair shot, and a fair share”, Newt Gingrich is running to be President as the only candidate for the office to have profited from one of the companies that led to the financial crisis of 2008. Lining his pockets with over a million dollars from Freddie Mac, Newt Gingrich should be the target of American anger, not the beneficiary of it.
Sometimes, American voters become so fed up with the way the country is going, that they develop a kind-of willful amnesia and settle their affections on the man who hates what’s going on in the world as much as they do. A candidate who promises he speaks for the silent majority can be given a second chance at life on the national stage, only for the voters to later discover that he didn’t just hate what was going on in the world, but he actually hated the world itself…and them.
A man who is stuffing his pockets with money from Freddie Mac, and jewels from Tiffany’s, has a very real shot at being the next President of the United States. I wasn’t alive to witness the rebirth of Nixon in 1968, but I’ve read enough history to see some eerie similarities between Tricky Dick and Knavish Newt.
Sarah Warden is the author of the novel Three Fifths of Love, available as an ebook for 99 cents from amazon http://www.amazon.com/Three-Fifths-Love-Marriage-ebook/dp/B005EZ3QU2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318174116&sr=8-1