Now that our favorite bombastic Republican Newt Gingrich, after attacking the media for allowing his ex-wife Marianne to out him as an adulterous husband has won the South Carolina primary. Can South Carolina still claim the bell-weather indicator maintain its status it has held since 1980?
First let us look at more than Newt’s personality that seems to be all about attack, attack and then attack some more. Newt does not even have a complete campaign staff to help him through the upcoming primaries that he will need to gain enough votes to be elected the nominate. His staff in each state does not exist in most of the states where he will need help getting the grass-roots support out for him. The best funded part of his campaign is the Super PAC fund that helped him through the South Carolina primary and they are desperately seeking contributors.
Let us look at what he has accomplished so far: He is in second place with the delegate count. He has motivated his Super PAC to spend lots of money hoping to detract voters from Mitt Romney. He was able to attack mainstream media during a campaign debate. Newt was able to win his first primary in an Evangelical Christian area known for supporting ultra-conservative candidates. The Speaker also had a favorable opinion of 54% compared to a favorable opinion of 14% of mainstream media. The women in South Carolina supported Newt even after he committed adultery not once but on his two previous wives.
It looks like Newt has a lot going for him in the perspective of feeling good. But can he sustain his campaign on feeling good, limited money, limited if not non-existent campaign staff and a general unfavorable opinion of him outside of South Carolina? Too many people still remember Newt as the guy that shut down the government in the 90s hoping that he could win political points against Bill Clinton only to lose to the president. His confidence is extremely high and he claims that his supporters will give him the people’s mandate. They will prevail is what Newt told his supporters last night when the results were released.
It does indeed look like Newt Gingrich has many hurdles to overcome before he can become the nominee for the 2012 Republican Party. The two most important elements are a lack of campaign support in each state and the lack of money in the bank.
At this point the appearance is that South Carolina will no longer be able to claim their bell-weather status for the GOP.