Monday, January 09, 2012

The Circus and the Last Dark Horse

Over the weekend there were two episodes of the ongoing reality series circus called GOPer debates.  The first on Saturday night inspired former GOPer Committee Chair Michael Steele to tweet, "What the hell kind of debate are we having right now? The Obamas are starting to order the china pattern for the second term."  It inspired one traditionally GOPer voter to donate $25 to the Obama campaign, and the spouse of another to inquire, "do these guys know they are running for President?" 

The bickering among the anti-Romneys left his Romneyness untouched, went the wisdom on that one.  But Sunday morning Romney got touched up a few times, including a hopefully memorable plea by Gingrich to Romney to "drop the pious baloney."  How could he do that?  Without pious baloney he's naked.

While some pundits (like Joe Klein) citing some numbers as well as the debates are declaring Romney the certain nominee, there was at least some trouble brewing--and some different poll numbers.  Josh Marshall at TPM highlighted the $5 million that yet another Rabid Right billionaire has used to fuel the Gingrich attack ads against Romney, with lots more where that came from.  Marshall suggests this could seriously complicate Romney's march, especially if the money keeps coming.  And don't forget those Tevangelical preachers getting together this week to try to pick a single Anti-Mormon, sorry, I meant Anti-Romney.  Nothing inspires serious consideration more than the scent of cash.

While the bulk of the negative ads against Romney are being targeted in South Carolina, the next primary state, there are some polls that suggest things may be moving in New Hampshire.  Romney has been slipping in tracking polls, while Ron St. Paul and Huntsman are moving up (Gingrich so far is his usual fourth, while Rick Sanctimonious is fading, and Cowboy Rick says he wants to return troops to Iraq immediately, where he may have a better chance at a presidency.)

Most of the pundits ignored Huntsman's good moments in Sunday's debate, but if those clips get around, he could move up further.  New Hamp loves an underdog, and everybody knows he's a better fit there than the Ricks.  It depends on how disgusted New Hamps are with this entire field--Huntman positioned himself as the sane alternative. Sane in this crowd anyway.  He might make this interesting after all.

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