A couple of weeks ago, the Virginia Conservative Convention was supposed to pick George Allen as the conservative front-runner in their straw poll. Obviously, that didn’t happen. But something quite interesting did happen. They picked Newt Gingrich instead (results below), and Newt even doubled Mitt Romney, who, somewhat implausibly, has been trying to position himself as the conservative candidate in this nomination fight. But it appears that people didn’t buy it.

Instead, Newt’s combination of record and ideas are offering conservatives a way forward right after the election. People are thinking “Bush lost Newt’s majority, and Newt can bring it back.” Now, is Newt electable in a general? I seriously doubt it. And, in the end, I do not believe that Newt is electable in a primary. But conservative activists love him.

Now party people don’t like Newt that much. But if Newt successfully takes the crown of “movement conservative”, then Romney is in deep, deep trouble.  Romney will lose votes to Newt. If the scrum contains Newt, Romney, Giuliani, and McCain, then Romney needs to be very, very worried. And if the party people get afraid of stopping the conservative movement candidate like Newt, then Romney is not going to be a reasonable place to settle.

Very, very interesting.


Votes	Percent
Newt Gingrich	45	31%
Mitt Romney	21	14%
Sam Brownback	18	12%
John McCain	18	12%
Mike Huckabee	11	8%
Rudy Giuliani	10	7%
Duncan Hunter	6	4%
Bill Frist	4	3%
Chuck Hagel	2	1%
George Pataki	2	1%


eyeon08.com » Real Conservatives for Newt? · November 30, 2006 at 9:35 PM

[…] Political Insider has a little blurb about Newt being the real candidate of the right. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times before here and here. […]

eyeon08.com » Newt tries to ask, “Am I our next Reagan?” · December 4, 2006 at 8:17 AM

[…] After winning the Virginia Conservative Convention Straw Poll, Newt Gingrich did a fundraiser for the organization. Robert Bluey of the Human Events reported the event. At the event, Newt went on the attack against Bush: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich last night offered a grim outlook for the final two years of the Bush Administration, saying at best it would resemble President Gerald Ford’s administration and at worst President Jimmy Carter’s. […]

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