Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Is anybody noticing who's coming in 3rd in GOP presidential polls?

Almost every recent poll I've seen on the GOP presidential field has come in the same as the one released today by CBS and the New York Times.

Cain: 25
Romney: 21
Gingrich: 10
Paul: 8
Perry: 6
Bachmann: less than 2
Huntsman: less than 2
Santorum: less than 2

While we're all busy talking about Romney, Cain and Perry, Newt Gingrich has climbed into 3rd place. To most folks, that doesn't mean much because at 10% he's still not really in contention.

But there's something that's been gnawing at the back of my brain for a while now and I'm just going to put it out there. I could be terribly wrong and anyone who reads this can later come back and say "I told you so." But "nothing ventured, nothing gained," so here goes.

I wonder if anyone else has been noticing how cozy Cain and Gingrich have been during the debates. Didn't Cain pick Gingrich when asked who on the stage would make a good VP? At the last one in Vegas, while all of the other candidates were trashing 999, Gingrich gave some gentle criticism surrounded with lots of support for the general idea. Gingrich has also been throwing some love Cain's way by saying things like he has a good chance to be the nominee. Finally, the two of them have accepted an offer from the Texas tea party to participate in a Lincoln/Douglas style debate with each other.

If you take all of that and combine it with the prediction some folks are making that we are very likely to see a brokered Republican convention this time, could it be that Cain and Gingrich already have an agreement of some kind to work together? As many others have said, I'm not entirely convinced that Cain really wants the job and is more interested in book sales combined with a lucrative TV gig. It could be that's all Gingrich wants as well. But I'm going to keep my eye on these two. As crazy as all these candidates have proven themselves to be - what really scares me the most is the possibility of another sociopath in the White House. I had seriously hoped that we were done with that when Dick Cheney finally retired.

7 comments:

  1. Not sure I follow, Smartypants. What I read about the brokered Convention looks more like it's a way to nominate Christie or Rubio because nobody wants any of the current crop. How does Gingrich cozying up to Cain help either of them? By making the craziest candidates the front-runners? That might help along the process of convincing the Republicans to go the 50% +1 route. The Republicans have enough discipline to pull that off at the delegate level I should imagine. Isn't their delegate election process different than the Democrats? They certainly don't have any rules about diversity.

    There is a problem with this, though: The Tea Party and extremist wings are not likely to be shut out of the delegate process. To pull off a brokered deal to get Christie or Rubio, wouldn't they have to circumvent the crazies? Or are the crazies on board with Rubio and Christie?

    Plenty to think about here.

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  2. Tien Le - the difference in what the GOP is doing this year is that delegates will be awarded proportionally in states rather than a "winner take all" like it has previously been.

    What that means is that both Cain and Gingrich (if they stay in it) will get delegates that they can use as leverage. One scenario is that they both go into the convention and join on a common ticket. Perhaps they also grab delegates from other candidates like Bachmann...who knows?

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  3. For what would they use that leverage? I thought you said Cain didn't want the job?

    I didn't know about the proportional awarding of delegates. That's interesting. Even still getting selected as a delegate is no cake walk. Lots of politicking and maneuvering and influence required to get selected. Are the Tea Party up to it? Or will the 'establishment' prevail? This is fascinating. Thanks for your insight.

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  4. I was referring to the conventional wisdom in some circles that say it looks like Cain doesn't really want the job. I see their point. But I really don't know. Because on the other hand, its obvious that someone like Cain has a massive ego and I can see him now actually thinking he could do this (when in the beginning it might have been more of a lark). People are often more complex than conventional wisdom tends to allow.

    I hear what you're saying about delegates. But there will also be massive pressure to represent the numbers that emerged from the primaries.

    Anyway, my whole point of writing this was to say that I think taking our eyes off of what Gingrich is up to is a mistake. If he's really serious about running, you've got to KNOW he's working on a plan. Most of the other candidates seem like feckless idiots to me. They're dangerous in their own way. But Gingrich is a plotting sociopath. So I'm keeping my eyes wide open on what he's up to.

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  5. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I think you're absolutely correct that Gingrich is up to something. Also agree that Cain's ego will drive him. I'd love it if he were nominated. Leave America with a choice of two African American males. One with zero experience, the other with solid experience who people actually like. Gotta like those odds.

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  6. I find Cain's long time AFP/Koch connections very disturbing.

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  7. A gentleman's debate on the merits of SS, Medicare and Medicaid between Cain and Newt sounds fairly horrifying.

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