The Three Reasons Mitt Is More Electable Than Newt Posted By Ryan Mauro
The following article presents one interpretation of the race for the Republican presidential nomination. For a counter-view written by Ben Shapiro, in favor of Newt Gingrich’s electability, click here.
If you can’t get elected, you can’t govern. That’s why electability is a top concern of Republican primary voters, compelling even some of those who would prefer a Gingrich presidency to support Mitt Romney. Each candidate has his flaws and advantages against President Obama, but there are three big reasons why Romney is generally seen as the more electable one. The polls show that Romney is a much stronger candidate, Gingrich has significantly more baggage and Gingrich’s difficulties in leadership could jeopardize his campaign.
The polls have Romney performing better against Obama than Gingrich in every important state. First, look at some of the most Republican-friendly states won by Obama in 2008. Romney wins Missouri but Gingrich loses by 4. In Virginia, Obama loses to Romney by 2 but beats Gingrich by 5. In Florida, Obama leads Romney only 0.2% on average (the latest poll has him up by 2) but defeats Gingrich by 5.5. In North Carolina, Obama leads Romney by 1 and Gingrich by 6. In Ohio, Romney is behind by 5.5, while Gingrich is way behind by 13.5 percentage points.
Now look at some of the more difficult swing states, at least one of which will probably have to be won by the Republican nominee. Romney wins New Hampshire by 6.5 points while Gingrich loses by 10. In Pennsylvania, Obama defeats Romney by 2.3 and Gingrich by 9.5. In Iowa, Romney loses by 2.6 and Gingrich by 10. In Michigan, Obama wins by 2.7 against Romney and 5 against Gingrich. In Nevada, Obama beats Romney by 6.5 and Gingrich by 12. In Colorado, Romney loses by 2 and Gingrich loses by 8.
If the election were held today between Obama and Romney, the president would win with 301 electoral votes. If Obama ran against Gingrich, he’d be re-elected with 357 electoral votes. Based on the polls today, it is undeniable that Romney is much more electable.
The baggage Gingrich carries could further drive down his poll numbers. Romney has been campaigning ever since he first declared his presidential run in early January 2007. His flip-flops and other flaws have been talked about endlessly. On the other hand with Gingrich, there is a lot that the Democratic Party can remind voters of.
The media will undoubtedly report on his infidelity and messy marital history throughout the campaign. The ethics investigation of him when he was speaker of the House, the Republican revolt against him resulting in his resignation, the inflammatory rhetoric, the narcissistic remarks, the alleged lobbying on behalf of Freddie Mac, etc…..READ IT ALL
For well over a year now, we’ve been hearing that Mitt Romney was the inevitable nominee for the Republican Party. I’ve personally heard it from Republican fundraisers, Republican Party staffers, and high-ranking conservative commentators. Not only was Romney inevitable, they’d say, he deserved inevitability, because he was clearly the most electable candidate.
With Newt Gingrich blowing Romney’s inevitability meme out of the water in South Carolina and Florida, the question is no longer whether Mitt is inevitable – he’s not—but whether he deserves to be the nominee based on electability.
I believe Mitt is, in fact, virtually unelectable. By contrast, I believe that Newt Gingrich has a serious shot at beating President Obama. Here’s why.
(1) Narrative. Presidential elections are decided on narrative and who gets to define it. In 2004, conservatives succeeded in defining the race as a strong and stable wartime president against a flip-flopping Vietnam-era radical who lied about his war record. In 2008, Obama and the media defined the narrative, which quickly became “The Chosen One.”