Interesting to see Newt Gingrich - NEWT GINGRICH - moving up in the polls. Have the Republicans decided the only way to defeat a man with a silly name is to find a candidate with an even sillier one?
Jon Huntsman still getting 1%. At least he's consistent. Pundits are generally sympathetic, saying he's performing well at the debates, but no-one seems to be listening. I suspect he's the candidate I would be likely to vote for, which tells you everything you need to know.
Still, he did pass the Captain Beefheart Test, managing to name a Beefheart album - two infact - without sounding like a fool. It might also explain his resolute lack of appeal. Perry is Garth Brooks. Gingrich, Bon Jovi. Romney, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Ron Paul is Neil Diamond. Michele Bachman, Britney Spears. Rick Santorum, all of the Village People. And Huntsman is Captain Beefheart.
Inevitably, because he's sane, we're told Huntsman is a Rhino - Republican In Name Only. Maybe his musical taste is the sticking point, and if he'd only endorse the musical stylings of Shania Twain, the American right would welcome him with open arms and great tumescence.
(Yes, I know, she's a Canadian. I was being amused at the preference for sentimental, conventional faux-American crap to indigenous brilliance.)
I don't think Romney will get the nomination. There are too many people fervently not wanting him, and he isn't winning any new support. Once they can all agree on who to vote for, he's toast. he can't cannibalise Huntsman's support because Huntsman doesn't have any (though he does have three appealing daughters). I don't think the Cain-Bachman-Perry-Gingrich factions aren't going to suddenly decide the Mormon is okay after all. Nor will they agree to vote for each other. I think Ron Paul may emerge as the unity 'anti-Romney' candidate.
Perry has lead, Cain has lead, even Bachmann once managed to get up to the 15% 'contender' threshold. I think Gingrich will fade quite quickly once people actually remember Who He Is. I also think he's too unprincipled for the right (ironically, this might have helped him with the soft middle) whereas Ron Paul is principled to a fault. Paul also opposed the Iraq invasion, interestingly. I don't agree with 99.973% of everything he says and stands for, but I admire his integrity.
Current polling has Gingrich in the lower stratosphere as Cain plummets. Cain expected to withdraw from the race. Romney dead in the water - he's been stuck at about 25% for millenia and he's got no-one to steal support from, except Jon Huntsman's 3% (And if they've stuck with Huntsman this long, they're probably fanatical Captain Beefheart fans voting on that alone). The factions still supporting Paul, Bachmann, Perry and Cain aren't likely to switch to Romney. I can't see Gingrich lasting however, he's too ... Gingrich. I suspect Perry will start to rally, or Ron Paul at a long shot.
Though part of me hopes the anti-Romney's will be so hag-ridden by their hatred that they'll unite behind Huntsman, completely blanking out that he's more of everything they hate about Romney. And, bizarrely, I suspect this is the only scenario that Obama needs to be worried about.