January 22, 2012, from across the Pond
So the comeback kid, aka Newt Gingrich, has sailed to victory in the GOP South Carolina Primary. It was a comfortable win for him. The latest from the poll has .Mr Gingrich with 40% of the vote to Mr Romney's 28%. These two men were the front runners and with Newt's surge in popularity the last few days perhaps the result is not surprising. It will however be cause for concern for Romney and his team.
Historically the winner of South Carolina will go on to win the the GOP nomination. It may not be cast in stone, so don't hold you breath, but that is the usual way that it goes.
The Gingrich team are now appealing for donations to prop up his campaign. Politics in the US in an expensive business and most candidates need wealthy backers. You know that elusive 1%. Republicans will have no problems getting support form such a section of society. After all that same 1% will be hoping for a Republican President who will legislate to suit.
This is where Mitt Romney takes the lead. As a man of many millions, quite literally, he will be able to sustain a lengthy campaign. After the result in South Carolina he insisted that he would continue on the campaign trail. With Ron Paul, 13%, and Rick Santorum, 17%, polling a small part of the vote they may choose a different path. As yet they too have said they will continue, but we have heard that before, haven't we?
Sometime after the vote Mr Gingrich spoke from his campaign headquarters, "We don't have the kind of money that at least one of the candidates has, but we do have ideas and we do have people and we have proved here in South Carolina that people power with the right ideas beats big money and with your help we are going to prove it again in Florida."
It seems that Mr Gingrich's fire has triumphed against Mitt Romney's slick appearance. A seasoned debater there is no doubt that his TV debating triumphs have played a huge part in his popularity. Will it be on to final victory for Newt?
If the pundits have it right the first Republican Primary will be a doddle for Mitt Romney. He is said to be a dead cert to win here. However, nothing is certain in this life, except for death and taxes, or so said Mark Twain. Life is so uncertain though that even the origin of that saying is disputed. It seems some claim that Benjamin Franklin or Daniel Defoe coined it first.
So will Mitt Romney win the New Hampshire primaries?
The odds are that he will but don't bet on it. As the weekend debates aired the voters choice of favourite candidate began to shift and slide. In Iowa Mitt won the Caucuses by the slimmest majority, namely eight votes. It could have been a slimmer majority, but not by much.
Whilst Romney fared well in last Saturday's debate Sunday's was not so easy. Newt Gingrich played the wily old fox and pounced of Romney when the time was right. Mitt was left to sink his own boat until the opponents felt it was time to join in.
Today Romney has been quoted out of context and slated for saying that he liked to sack people. What in truth he appeared to be saying, was that he liked to fire people who did not come up to scratch, as far as work was concerned. He would rather get rid of them and employ someone willing and able to do the work. Under the surface his tone and statement does raise some issues though. Sometimes workers under achieve through no fault of their own. In general though we can all relate to what Mitt was possibly trying to say. Mitt inisisted that he was only reffering to insurance companies. His choice of words though left a lot to be desired. Currently the media are keen to misconstrue what they can so he must watch his words.
Whether all of this will affect the electorate is doubtful. Republicans will not be as concerned about employee rights as other political persuasions might be. For Romney New Hampshire is is home turf and so winning should be a breeze.
Early indications point towards Mitt Romney's lead in New Hampshire reducing. Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul look to be fighting it out for second place. With each Primary result there is a chance that the number of candidates will be depleted. Those who poll very low numbers may, like Michele Bachmann, step out of the 2012 race.
Check back later for the full results.