Former speaker Newt Gingrich took a shellacking at Thursday’s republican debate, at the same time his poll rankings in the sunshine state were staggering under the onslaught of Governor Mitt Romney’s better funded and more organized campaign. Team Gingrich arrived in Florida confident of converting the eleventh hour come from behind win in South Carolina into momentum that could produce a win or deliver a close second next Tuesday.
Daily tracking polls indicated the speaker emerged from his victory in South Carolina with a lead in both the national polls and Florida, the surge in popularity probably began to see a noticeable public wane with published reports of a president Gingrich eager to establish a permanent colony of 13,000 on the moon, one that would eventually become the unions fifty first state and by the way, Sarah Palin would be called upon to serve in a senior cabinet level post in his administration.
Even Gingrich’s most ardent supporters credit the South Carolina victory and new found momentum as a direct result of those strong debate performances, which leaves one to wonder why he took the stage Thursday evening looking so unprepared and out of his depth.
On top of getting thoroughly spanked by Governor Romney, Newt was smacked down by CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer and obliged to stand and suffer the indignation of a crowd casting mingled hisses, boo’s and laughter, the morning after brought more depressing news, those daily tracking polls that had the entire republican establishment in full panic mode at the prospect of a possible Gingrich nomination, revealed the surge was evaporating by the hour.
Camp Gingrich may have left South Carolina with a ten point advantage but the reversal in political fortunes Governor Romney so recently suffered, was now showing Newt Gingrich lagging by eight to ten points.
Say what you will about the former speaker, but the fact remains, Newt Gingrich has demonstrated a unique ability to continually stun the Washington republican establishment by rising from the grave this political season, after the South Carolina blowout, even some beltway power brokers were admitting privately of the need to entertain the possibility of “Nominee Gingrich”, then came talk of lunar bases and Sarah Palin, by the beginning of Thursday’s debate, even those in the establishment loop willing to consider the possibility of Newt as the nominee were already reaching out and making phone calls.
As of today, published reports have several senior party officials acknowledging off the record, the stark reality facing those who control the Republican Party is clearly defined, They must Stop Newt Gingrich from becoming the nominee of the party, failure to do so will result in much more than Barack Obama being elected to a second term as President.
A Gingrich nomination would according to their own internal poll numbers, result in loss of the house, democratic gains in the senate and defeat in State races all the way down to the county and municipal level, so dire a scenario coupled with Newt’s Lazarus like ability leaves the establishment with little alternative, Newton Gingrich must be put down at any and all cost.
Even long retired party luminaries like Robert Dole are responding to the urgent all hands on deck call to shut Newt down as the establishment ramps up efforts to secure the nomination for Governor Mitt Romney as quickly as possible while maintaining at least the veneer of a free and fair nominating process.
Establishment republicans have a well earned reputation of playing to win at all cost, while rank and file party members technically decide through the primary process, who becomes the nominee and standard bearer of the party in the general election, With the support of the entire establishment now fully behind Governor Romney, unless Senator Santorum and Doctor Paul both drop out soon, it becomes difficult to imagine a path forward, which leads to the conclusion Newt Gingrich will call it quits soon after Florida.