Just because Mitt Romney says Newt Gingrich is the front-runner, doesn’t make it so. Gingrich may be ahead in several early voting states, but the South is still very much up for grabs. It’s an area of the country that is known for its allegiance to the Republican party, but in this case, as POLITICO reports, there is no one standing out there.
John Ryder, the longtime RNC member from Tennessee, agreed on the big picture: “There is nobody who is dominant in this region.”
“That makes the contest even more open because the dominant region for the party doesn’t have a dominant candidate,” explained Ryder, who said of Gingrich: “Republican women are the real backbone of the party in the South and they fundamentally mistrust Newt because of his personal life.”
Speaking of Newt’s personal life… he’s on his third marriage, so he has agreed to stay true to Calista - signing a social conservative group’s pledge to uphold the institution of marriage “though my personal fidelity to my spouse” and affirming marriage as “only between one man and one woman.”
So will social conservatives buy it? The NYT is reporting that some worry evangelicals will split their votes, undercutting their influence and giving the less popular candidates a clearer shot at a strong showing.
Maybe this will thin the field: Conservative radio host Michael Savage has offered Newt Gingrich $1 million to drop out of the Republican primary race.
What do all these political headlines mean? That Republicans appear to like no one.
We’ll discuss this today at noon. See you soon!