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Thoughts After Romney's Florida Win

For those who have been following, I predicted that Newt Gingrich would win the Republican nomination. Conventional wisdom is telling us that Romney's big win in Florida has all, but cemented his victory in this race.

Possible, yes.......Likely, maybe.....Inevitable, absolutely not!

Romney's victory was strong (double-digits). His campaign is most certainly going to get a immense bump of momentum leading into the February caucus & primary races.

That said, he didn't get to 50%. The vote totals for the "conservative" candidates (Gingrich, Santorum, as well as now-departed candidates like Bachmann, Cain, & Perry) were actually more than Romney. He failed to get to a majority after outspending ALL of his opponents combined! Gingrich lost by around 14% having been outspent 5-to-1 w/ 70% of Romney's ads actually being negative campaigning against Gingrich. According to research published today, as few as 1% of Romney's ads were even about Romney!

Here are a few thoughts processing these items:

  • Based on the fact that Gingrich (even in this loss) won among those who consider themselves "very conservative" (by 1%), the reality is that Romney is STILL not motivating the Republican base. Danger, Will Robinson!
  • Gingrich needs to revert to what he does best - sharing a vision and being a promoter of conservative ideas. He got sucked into a negative war with Romney in Florida and ended up playing on his opponent's turf against his opponent's insurmountably well-financed campaign.
  • Either Gingrich or Santorum are going to have to cede to the other allowing a legitimate two-way race. Continuing to split the conservative "notMitt" will almost certainly guarantee Romney the nomination and, in effect, Obama a second term.

My recommendation to Gingrich is that he admit the mistake and restate his earlier commitment to run a positive, ideas-based campaign. He should follow-up with a direct statement that he is running AGAINST OBAMA. Until he wins, Obama wins, or another Republican candidate wins the nomination, he will be focusing on sharing with the American people why he should be elected and what he will do when that happens.

When someone asks about the negative campaigning and attacks, he should respond that he expects Obama (lacking a positive record of success on which to run) to spend his near billion dollar war-chest attacking the Republican nominee. Frankly, this campaign against Romney (who apparently also has little reason to justify people voting for him - leading to his campaign's predisposition to attacking opponents) will be "good practice"!

From his speech on election night in Florida, it would appear that his campaign has already enacted this refocus. If so and if they can stay on message, I am not yet ready to surrender my earlier prediction.

In the end, all-in comes on Super Tuesday!

Reportedly, TheDonald is preparing an endorsement..... Let's hope that he joins a growing cacophony of Americans preparing to tell PrezBO - YOU'RE FIRED!