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“I’m the comeback grandparent” strategy working in Florida

“I’m the comeback grandparent” strategy working in Florida

On November 26 I noted that Newt’s line at an overflowing town hall in Florida, “I’m the comeback grandparent”, struck the right chord.

First, it distinguished Newt’s prior “when I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible” days from the person running for president.  Second, it presented the image of a fighter who, despite his age, still can throw a punch.  Third, and perhaps most important, it appealed to a key demographic in Florida.

And it appears to be paying off:

A new American Research Group poll in Florida shows Newt Gingrich leading the Republican presidential field with 50%, followed by Mitt Romney at 19% and Herman Cain at 10%.

It’s the third poll in two days — following Insider Advantage and Public Policy Polling — to show Gingrich crushing his rivals in Florida.

Fair enough, not a single vote has been cast in Florida or anywhere else.

But polls, and crowds are all we have to go on at this point. And Newt is packing them in not just in Florida but also in Iowa.

My best guess is that the seniors remember Newt as a fighter, and that’s exactly what they want right now as they look on helplessly at the destruction of the nation they once knew.  A grandparent who will fight like hell for the future of his grandchildren is the ticket Newt is selling in Florida, and there appear to be plenty of buyers.

Update:  Yowee

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters finds Gingrich on top with 38% of the vote. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is a distant second at 17%. No other candidate reaches double-digits.


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JimMtnViewCaUSA | December 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Wishing Newt and all the other candidates good luck, but there is a reservoir of distrust out there. Example below.
“Former Freddie Mac officials familiar with his work in 2006 say Gingrich was asked to … develop an argument on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it.”

    The liberal media theme of the moment. I browsed the latest Time mag in someone’s office: heavy on anti-Newt; complimentary of Huntsman!

    Yeah, I’ve been seeing that piece floating around today – Adler noted it at NRO, I think.

    It’s a tough issue for Newt, and ultimately everyone – or most pols, anyway – were crazy during the housing bubble, which doesn’t mean Newt wasn’t wrong. It doesn’t bother me, though (what’s one more heresy out of the dozens already baked into the cake?). I don’t think he’d get into office and start larding Fannie and Freddie with extra benefits and discretion, just like I don’t for a second believe he’d pump for cap-and-trade or to keep the mandate.

    But like you said, the trust issue is what matters, and this will come up in the next debate. We’ll have to see how he handles it. No doubt he’s got to thread a needle here, but I don’t see any reason why he’d need to back off from anything he’s already said. “Yes, I thought GSE’s in principle could provide a workable impetus to homeownership, as most people did, but the more I studied the issue the more I came to feel and express my displeasure to Freddie, etc. At no point did I ever suggest that current practices were best practices” – or something like that.

    Maybe the good professor can address the matter in a post, since he’s pretty much the only one in the blogosphere who isn’t devoted full-time to destroying Newt as the best threat to King Electable.

……..and so it begins. Why are the Ds so afraid of Newt? It is beyond obvious that they want to pick our candidate for us. Now that the strategy du jour isn’t working they will be inventing howler stories to try and derail him. Little ones at first, then as his numbers rise the action will ratchet up. Just wait ’til they try and turn him into Jerry Sandusky.

i am glad to see prof has caught up to me 🙂 people want and like a fighter. compare newts performance to romneys effete whiny performance v bret baeir. newts alinsky talk is smart. when obama tries to paint newt as extremist newt can sa…yeah lets talk about extremism

The problem is that Newt was “young and irresponsible” an awfully short time ago.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | December 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Wait. Huntsman is a REPUBLICAN? Who knew?

Republican candidates are going to have to hammer heavily in South Florida on Israel issues. The majority of retirees are still getting their news from newspapers and television. The messages aren’t coming across. I heard a lot of pollyanna optimism yesterday over the stock market and economy.

holmes tuttle | December 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Newt has said and done an awful lot of things, good and bad.

However, we’re not voting for a King or a dictator, or a Governor or Senator or anything like that. We’re voting for a President. A President who has certain limited powers, who works with Congress, etc…

We need to take that into account. The more outlandish and wild of Newt’s ideas won’t get passed by the GOP Congress. I think he’s pretty likely to sign what they pass and send him.

If the Congress repeals Obamacare will he sign it? If they pass a tough border security/enforcement bill will he sign it? If they pass a good entitlement reform will he sign it? If they pass a good budget will he sign it? If they pass a good energy bill will he sign it? If they repeal Dodd/Frank will he sign it? I think the answer to all of those questions is yes.

Moreover, I think he’s the best of the field to also come up with his own plans on those issues and most importantly, to communicate and explain effectively to the public. Bush was awful at that. I have zero confidence in Perry, Cain, Bachmann et al being able to do it.

I’m tired of the W years where the President, fairly or not, comes across as a buffoon. I want someone who can advocate for a policy and explain it to people so that they understand it and think it makes sense. Who can best tell the public “this is why the Democratic/liberal policies have failed and why you’re worse off. Here is my policy. Here is why it will help you and your family. Here is how it will work and why you should support it”. Of the current field, Newt is far and away tops in that dept for me. Based on recent polls, it looks like I’m not the only one who feels that way.

I’m not worried about amnesty or anything like that. Amnesty is dead, it’s never passing Congress. Same with Cap and Trade.

I want someone who can make a clear contrast with Obama, backed up by a record. Someone who can get on the stage next to him and say “I’ve balanced the budget, you’ve exploded it. I’ve cut spending and eliminated the deficit, you’ve raised spending and ballooned the deficit. I reformed an entitlement and nearly eliminated it, you created a brand new one. I got Bill Clinton to say that the era of big govt was over, you brought it back. I was responsible for policies that led to consistent 4% growth and 4% unemployment, you are responsible for policies that have led to consistent 2% growth and an avg of almost 10% unemployment. I have a proven track record of working with the other party and getting major things done that have helped people and their families, you have no such record.” Again, no one else in the field comes close to being able to say that to Obama in a debate. The rest can all criticize him, but they don’t have the record to say they’ve actually done the opposite.

Newt also, for all his faults and there are many, he does still have the most impressive record when it comes to a history with the party, with the conservative movement, with real leadership and accomplishment. Look at where the part ywas when he took over as whip in 89 and where it was by 94. Look at what happened to the budget/spending between 95 when he took over as speaker and 99 when he left. No one else was fighting the fight with Reagan in the 80s, on CSpan with those special orders, going after Tip O’Neill and Jim Wright, exposing things like the House Banking Scandal and Post Office Scandal, recruiting and training hundreds of new conservatives through GOPAC and building a new majority piece by piece, having the vision to believe that the GOP and conservatives could end a 40 yr Dem majority and then actually going out and doing it, etc… Again, no one in the field really comes close.

Yes, he ahs a myriad of personal faults, to out it mildly. Total scumbag might be too kind. But that doesn’t change any of the above. As of now, it appears that many in the party feel the same way and more are feeling that way every day.

What I like most about Newt is that when he became Speaker of the House in the ’90s he actually took on Clinton. The Contract with America meant something. If Newt takes the Presidency from Osama, he will actually try very hard to accomplish something. Indeed, I think Newt will put it all on the line. And that is what we need.

Compare that to crying John Boehner.

Yeah, well, on the other hand, in that PPP poll that has Newt well ahead among primary voters in Florida, Romney edges Obama buy Newt loses to Obama by six points. The neck and neck matchup between Obama and Romney has not changed for months, nor have the results showing Obama handily beating other GOPers.

There in crucial Florida you might easily have the difference between defeating Obama or not.

What many conservatives refuse to come to grips with is that the total number of people who will participate in the primaries and caucuses is about 20 million or so while the number of voters who casf ballots next November will be somewhere around 130-135 million — 6 1/2 times as many people. More people will vote in November in Pennsylvania alone than will participate in the Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada caucuses and primaries combined!

The hope that an election can be won by driving greater enthusiasm among the 20 million, who are by definition the “base” is on its face absurd.

Newt has been in politics since we were lighting our caves with Mastodon fat…unlike obama he actually took positions …all I know is this if Newt takes it all it will make liberals unhappy ….anything that makes liberals unhappy has the reverse effect on me and proportionally so. I hope to be a quivering mass of complete and total organismic blissfully ignorant happiness come Nov of 12

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae worked great until the 90s when Clinton changed the rules that allowed every deadbeat in the country to get a mortgage. I’m surprised banks didn’t go under then. Blame the dims for this mess and not someone who counseled one of these entities and was paid money for doing it. Who works for free anywhere? Also, let’s pay attention to what he told them. I doubt he said they were doing the right thing.

I like Perry but the media has done their usual number on him and he no longer has a chance. This is what they will do to all our candidates who raise their heads above the crowd. Above Romney, anyway. Time will tell if the media can bring Newt down too. They decide our candidate every election cycle. This must stop. They are extremely powerful though and even if people think they are biased, they still listen to them. They brought down two popular republican presidents, after all. However, I am glad to see Rolney down in the “polls”. He must be further down that they reveal since he is their candidate and they don’t want him totally demolished. This will be ugly. Uglier than we have ever seen politics. Obama is a cornered Chicago thug and just like other rats will fight to the death. We can only hope that he will fail to get re-elected.