One constant of the GOP nomination campaign is that the only electable candidate they have on offer just can’t make it above 30% in the polls.
So far almost every candidate in the field has had a surge. First it was Bachmann, then Perry and then Cain. And as each candidate has their moment in the Klieg lights, their flaws are exposed and they sink back to rejoin the also-rans.
The fact that this keeps happening makes me think that maybe this has less to do with policy, and more to do with the fact that Republican primary voters just cannot stand Mitt Romney. And maybe what they dislike is not so much the policies that Romney advocated in the past, as the transparent fact that he will say anything to anyone to get elected. A sample from today’s Post:
The abortion rights supporters came away from the meeting pleasantly surprised. Romney declined to label himself “pro-choice” but said he eschewed all labels, including “pro-life.” He told the group that he would “protect and preserve a woman’s right to choose under Massachusetts law” and that he thought any move to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision would be a “serious mistake for our country.”
Once he decided to seek national office Romney did a U turn and became Pro-Life. But what is the real Romney position, Pro-Choice or Pro Life?
With Bachmann, Perry and Cain all discredited, it could well be Gingrich’s turn to surge. For all his abundant faults and liabilities, he does at least understand things that a President might need to know, like the fact that China has nuclear weapons and that Uzbekistan is one of America’s principle allies in the Afghan campaign. Speaker of the House is second in the line of succession after the Vice President, after all.
Recent polling has been trending Gingrich’s way:
The North Carolina poll was conducted from October 27-31, with the big story breaking on only the last day of polling. The numbers: Cain 30%, Gingrich 22%, Romney 19%, Perry 10%, Bachmann 4%, Paul 4%, Santorum 2%, Huntsman 2%, and 0% for Gary Johnson.
If Gingrich can capitalize on Cain’s downfall he may well have a shot at winning. If Romney cannot take at least some votes from Cain it is a pretty sure bet that anyone-but-Romney is going to win it in the end.
Update: My bad, turns out that GOP support for Cain has actually increased since the scandal. After all, what does a little sexual harassment matter to them? Or maybe they could believe the allegations if the alternative was not giving Romney the nomination.