The 2012 GOP flavor of the week really only lasted a week and change. Newt Gingrich is plummeting in Iowa, running 27%, 22%, and 14% in the last three PPP polls. What still amazes me is that the "liberal" media has been treating each and every rise by successive GOP candidates as legitimate, long after an inverted V-shaped pattern had been clearly established for everyone except Mitt Romney, and the few candidates who just haven't had their turn yet.
What's even more amazing has been the events which should have sunk each of these candidates but didn't, and the odd things that did end up bringing them down. Herman Cain was accused of sexually harassing three women that worked for him in the past – women he paid to go away – and was accused of sexual assault, a rather serious crime in this country, and was so unqualified for the job of President that he didn't know that China had nuclear weapons already.
But it was a consensual, legal affair that took him down with Republican primary voters.
Newt Gingrich has spent the past few days arguing that the president can ignore Supreme Court rulings he dislikes, and wants the Capitol Police and U.S. marshals to arrested judges for making rulings that he personally disagrees with. That, in addition to being a serial adulterer of course in the "moral majority" and "party of family values".
But it wasn't even any of that which sunk him. GOP voters simply got bored when they finally remembered who he was.
At this rate Gingrich will finish third or worst in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and Ron Paul – who like Romney isn't riding on any American Idol-type popularity contest wave – is going to win a critical early swing state.
This sucks for Democrats. Every 2012 GOP candidate except Mitt Romney has been polling behind President Obama by 8-14 points nationally, despite Obama's somewhat awful job approval ratings. (I would argue as I have before that the key take away here is that Americans are disappointed with Obama's performance, but they actively dislike almost the entire Republican field on a personal level; especially independents.)
A few early wins by Ron Paul could still make it a cake walk for President Obama, but it's increasingly looking like a long, drawn out primary between Mitt Romney and whoever is lucky enough to do well in the first 5-6 states, with Romney taking the nomination and giving Obama a run for his money.
Here are some upcoming dates to be mindful of, and unless the system has changed, it's still winner-takes-all for delegates:
January 3: Iowa (28 delegates)
January 10: New Hampshire (12)
January 21: South Carolina (25)
January 31: Florida (50)