Why Gingrich Remains Most Likely to Win
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Don't worry, Gingrich supporters -- despite the falling poll numbers in Iowa over the last week, your guy remains most likely to win the Republican nomination. Let me explain why and how.
First of all, let's stipulate that this race isn't about the issues anymore. Newt Gingrich's positions are mostly similar to Mitt Romney's positions, both of whom are to the left of most of the other candidates, such as Perry and Bachmann in particular.
A few days before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, people have come to peace with the candidates' ideological positions, and it's all about electability and willingness of primary voters to cast the ballot. The conventional wisdom is of course that Romney is the most "electable" candidate, and that is probably true in some sense. But only in some. Romney clearly has many fine merits, including years of being vetted, having a distinguished business background, a first-class family, and he is a generally very smart and polished man.
So why am I still so convinced Romney isn't going to get the Republican nomination?
Do the MathIt's simple, really. At this stage of the game, Romney's problem is the same mathematics that he faced already a year ago -- or for that matter four years ago. Romney just can't seem to break 25% in the national Republican polls. The composition of the other 75% has shifted around enough times to make our heads spin, with many candidates hitting 20% to 35% somewhere along the way, however briefly: Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Gingrich and Ron Paul. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. Short of Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman making the round to the top of the polls, we are now at the end of the rope. All the other candidates have taken their turn. The voters have seen them all. And yet, Romney doesn't break 25% on a national level. Obviously, he gets a higher percentage in his semi-home state of New Hampshire, but that's to be expected no matter. Romney's luck at this stage is that the 75% opposition remains so fragmented that he looks like a winner at 25%. The conventional wisdom now is simply that "success will breed success." Let's say Romney wins Iowa, and obviously also wins New Hampshire. Romney then moves on to win all the other contests. Done deal, right?
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