February 16, 2012

Romney, Santorum torpedo Gingrich

More debates? No. Did I mention I don't care about the very rich or poor?
How do you ensure that Newt Gingrich can't compete and won't see another surge in voter support?  Easy - take away his greatest advantage - debates.
CNN canceled its March 1 Republican presidential debate on Thursday after three of four candidates declined to participate, citing busy campaign schedules leading to Super Tuesday on March 6.

"Mitt Romney and Ron Paul told the Georgia Republican Party, Ohio Republican Party, and CNN Thursday that they will not participate in the March 1 Republican presidential primary debate," CNN said in a statement. "Without full participation of all four candidates, CNN will not move forward with the Super Tuesday debate."

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum also said he would not participate, leaving only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich committed to attending.
This is an especially effective move since after two surges followed by two plummeting polling performances, Newt Gingrich has finally learned his lesson.  He's learned that he has to stay positive in order to surge, and avoid going negative to avoid dropping in the polls.  He shines in debates, particularly when he talks about vision or goes negative on the biased media and does not go after his opponents.  With very little funding right now, Gingrich can't compete in advertising volume or clout with Romney and Santorum.  So he may be euchred. If so, this was a smart move by the two front runners to cement this into a two person race.

Then again, Newt still has time to ferment his southern strategy if he can raise funding.  The debate dearth cannot go on forever.  More debates will happen.  The big wrinkle in the continuity of the Gingrich campaign is not just getting funds to last until Texas (where he believes he can score big), but the fact that due to the redistricting issues in Texas, the Texas primary itself has become a moving target.  The current date for the primary is now late May.  That makes getting there, that much harder.
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