As most of you know, Jon Huntsman is the latest to drop out. Though he had some good conservative economic goals and principles, his campaign never caught fire. He had several handicaps which he could never get out from under. Coming out of the gate in the campaign he managed to infuriate the climate skeptics. I doubt if the impact will be fully appreciated, but, I think this doomed his chances. He had also worked for Obama which regardless of motivation, wasn’t going to be seen as an accomplishment. It wasn’t so much that these things that worked against him, it was his dismissive attitude when asked. For social conservatives, he wasn’t going to, and didn’t try, to make any headway with them.
So, what does this development mean? Well, not much. All of the Huntsman voters will move to Romney, both of them. In an ever so slight manner, this helps Romney solidify his base. There is an interesting polling event occurring at the moment. There are two separate polls showing some very different results. You can read about them here and here. The one listed first was conducted on the 15th, by RealClearPolitics , and the second was conduction on the 10th-13th by Reuters/Ipsos.
Romney 37 32 Gingrich 21 12
Paul 14 16 Santorum 13 16
Perry 5 6
Huntsman 6 3
I’m calling bs. I don’t know which one, but I’m guessing RCP. Gingrich didn’t gain 9 pts in the last couple of days. And I don’t hear or feel that he’s gaining any momentum. But, other than that, the polls are pretty close. Checking Fox before posting, I see they have a lead story with the same title, and sigh, there’s going to be another debate tonight. Can anyone tell me why we’re still being subjected to these debates? What possible good is this doing? I believe politically, this many debates were a mistake.
Going forward, look for Perry to be the next casualty in the primary. He’s hoping for a South Carolina surprise, but unless the rest of the pack fall on their faces, he won’t get over 10%. Paul will get his, Romney is looking to win South Carolina, and will unless he does something massively stupid, which, he won’t. The only real question in SC is between Gingrich and Santorum. When some of the candidates look back, they’re going to realize they didn’t play this right. There are two voting blocks engaged in the Gingrich/Santorum race. The social conservatives and the anybody-but-Romney camp. (and Paul by the fact that they’re not voting for him either.) If you add Huntsman’s to Romney and then add Gingrich, Santorum, and Perry minus a few who would go to both Paul and Romney if their candidate got out, then it’s a very competitive race. It would break down like Romney 40%, Paul 20% and (Whomever) about 40%.
What the weak head with strongest bias rules, Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools. ————- Alexander Pope
I do hope that Jon Huntsman takes a rest, and then actively supports the Republican nominee, regardless of who gains the nomination.