CRF Blog

The Republican nomination

by David De La Torre

Current poll numbers in Florida, the first big state to vote in the Republican primaries, favor Mitt Romney but not enough to count out Newt Gingrich. In Newt’s (fleeting?) moment, The Economist questions Gingrich’s momentum after pounding Romney in South Carolina.

[T]he principal reason for Mr Gingrich’s victory appears to have been his vituperative attacks on “the elites” and their lackeys in the media in the two televised debates that preceded polling day. In the first he was asked by a black journalist whether he understood why knocking food stamps seemed to belittle racial minorities. Mr Gingrich thundered back that “only the elites despise earning money”, and that he would continue “to help poor people learn how to get a job…and learn some day to own that job.” This moment earned a standing ovation from the audience of tea-partiers and was aired repeatedly on news programmes. Three days later, he stirred up another round of thunderous cheers when, in a second debate, he excoriated the “destructive, vicious” news media for dwelling on the remarks of his ex-wife just before a presidential primary.

Can two moments of televised drama upend the whole primary process? [more]