January 27, 2012

Election 2012: The Second Florida Debate

After the American Century

The second Florida debate is over, and it appears that Romney is suddenly a stronger debater. He has a new coach, and he was far more aggressive and convincing than before. Based on the debate alone, Romney seemed more credible and competent. Indeed, at several points he wiped the floor with Gingrich.

Based on this performance, many of the pundits now think that Newt may not be able to win in Florida. Moreover, new polls suggest that Obama would thrash Gingrich by almost 20 points. Many leading Republicans have said that he would not be the right man. The momentum seems to have shifted, in short.  Yet one of the most recent national polls does show Gingrich leading Romney 31 to 27%. And think about this. When either Paul or Santorum drops out, their voters are more likely to shift over to Gingrich than to Romney.

What about those two other candidates? Both Santorum and Paul had a good night. So long as they are in the race no one will be able to amass a majority of the Republican delegates to the convention. So much has happened already, that we cannot assume that the selection process is soon going to be over.

Meanwhile, the Republican candidates speak, with no sense of irony, of "self deportation" as a solution to the illegal immigrant problem. Newt Gingrich wants English to be "the official language of government" as if it were not already rather the case.  There was an absurd discussion about deporting illegal grandmothers. They speak so seriously and their audience of true Republican believers is so enthusiastic, one can forget that much of what is being discussed is nonsense.

Let the fun continue, just do not take them too seriously.