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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gingrich in Georgia

Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is bearish about Newt Gingrich's prospects in his home state:

So here’s a prediction: Assuming that Gingrich is still in the race come Feb. 7, after the Iowa caucuses and primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida, he will not win the Georgia primary. In fact, I’d be surprised if he even managed a close second.

Some of that depends on who decides to enter the race and who doesn’t. In a Magellan poll taken last June, 29.8 percent of Georgia Republicans said they would vote for Gingrich in a primary, making him the nominal frontrunner. (He was followed by Mike Huckabee (24.5 percent), Mitt Romney (14.4 percent) and Sarah Palin (12 percent).

Not surprisingly, Gingrich did best among Republicans 55 and older, who are more likely to link him to Georgia. (Palin, by the way, got only 3.4 percent of Georgia Republicans between 18 and 34). But given the favorite-son status that Gingrich wants to claim here, you have to look at that 30 percent figure as closer to his ceiling than his floor.

As those numbers indicate, he has no great reservoirs of fondness, gratitude or state pride to draw upon here, and I doubt that many Georgia Republican leaders will be willing to cast their lot with him at the risk of alienating candidates perceived to be much more viable nationally. A lot of factors are at play in the endorsement game, but it usually comes down to wanting to side with a winner.