Gingrich Must Poll Outside Conservatives To Stage Comeback
Given the fickleness of the Republican primary season so far, one hesitates to endorse the conventional wisdom following Mitt Romney's solid victory in Florida and conclude that Romney has it sewn up.
If Newt Gingrich attempts ,phoenix-like, to "rise from the ashes" again, he must demonstrate a better ability to perform in urban areas. Florida, with centers like Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville was the first state with major urban markets. Looking at Florida county by county ,one could see Gingrich succeeding in rural areas, but being trounced by Romney in the major urban centers liked Dade County.
Agriculture is still important to the United States, both as a historical tradition and a current economic mainstay. Population wise, however, the United States is increasingly urban.
Voter exit polls demonstrated that perceived electability is Mitt Romney's major trump card over Newt Gingrich. This perception is reinforced by the positions espoused by most conservative pundits and by the endorsements that Mitt Romney has received from Republican officeholders both past and present. To turn things around ,Gingrich cannot suffice with winning states such as Alabama and Georgia (his home state) but has to win or at least achieve a draw in a battleground industrial state. If he cannot do so, Gingrich will have to decide why he is in the current race.
He is not using the race to obtain greater visibility, nor does he see it as an attempt to educate the American voter - something along the lines of what Ron Paul is doing. Given the savage mutual attacks between Romney and Gingrich, it is doubtful that Romney, for the sake of party unity, would award Gingrich a cabinet post - let alone a place on the ticket.
Even to play the role of Romney's scourge requires a modicum of electoral success. As the debates have shown, once a candidate, Michelle Bachman for example, is not considered a potential contender, he receives less attention. Gingrich must avoid a position where he would cease to be a scourge and merely a sore loser.
Romney's backers, for their part, would be best advised to avoid reverting to the inevitability argument. The fact that Romney was temporarily an underdog added drama to the race and forced him to improve his game, most notably in the debates. The inevitability argument hurt Romney with the voters. Voters want to feel they have a choice and they want to be wooed. They do not want to be extras in a coronation ceremony.