2011 is coming to a close; we inch closer and closer to the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. Before we know it, we will be in prime election season. But going into this prime-time event, do Americans have a set duo they wish to see duke it out next year? Do Republicans have that one guy they can rely on yet? The answer is no. Electability and minor surges have been the story of late. Small numbers here and sampling errors there have kept the Republican voters guessing. No main personality has emerged as a powerful scene in the GOP. But still, we see the names Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney nearing the top of most of these nationally conducted polls. Their campaigns have resorted to attacks on one another and the Democrats have joined in, bashing the Romney campaign on decade-old comments of him being “moderate and progressive.” So what we have on our hands is a good-old political battle royal e.
As if we didn’t know already, the Bachmann, Perry and Santorum campaigns have faded off our national radar. Although they may hold some ground in the Iowa caucus, they are surely to be “sent-packing” after their single-digit polling numbers expel them from the race. After a one-on-one, Lincoln-Douglas style debate with Jon Huntsman, the Republican voters got an even better view of their frontrunner, Newt Gingrich. Huntsman, publicly sound himself with his abilities, stood his ground as the two chatted in New Hampshire. Gingrich, former history professor and House Speaker, again showed us his public-footing and the two eventually agreed on a majority of the issues at hand.
Following this one v. one, December 12th debate, the Republican candidates continued to move on with their campaigns. Polls have emerged showing an Obama victory over the current frontrunners. If the GOP were to go with Gingrich, the NBC News poll suggests Obama would take the vote with 51%. But on the other hand, the same poll reveals that Romney would have more of a fighting chance against Obama with only a two point margin between the two with a larger sampling error. This is even after Romney offered to bet former Texas Governor Rick Perry $10,000 over reviews of his own book on Massachusetts healthcare. After these statements, the Romney campaign hit hard crisis management, trying to prove that in fact Romney does not support gambling and especially at such high prices as Americans struggle to even make that much money.
Bruised and broken, the Romney campaign still sits near the top of polls, second only to Gingrich. Newt has been busy this week, refuting the possible Donald Trump-moderated debate and claiming his fidelity. After candidates viciously attacked his extramarital affair, he responded with claiming to stick to the issues at hand. Also, the Gingrich campaign suffered a minor setback as one of the campaign leaders made a controversial statement about Mormonism. The employee stepped down and Gingrich moved on, learning from Rick Perry’s encounter with controversy over a pastor he was affiliated with also bashed Mormonism.
While all of these minor events continue to put the GOP puzzle together, the Democrats have made sporadic appearances, bashing the Romney campaign. Clearly, they’d love to see him exit the race. As good as Gingrich may prove to be against Obama in a debate, they still seem to encourage the challenge and work just to cast Mitt Romney down. Obama has been busy himself of late, dealing with issues of the payroll tax cut plan and the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline creation. Attempting to fight through these end-of Congress session problems, Obama still sits in the forties with his approval, so really, from an outsider’s opinion, the race is still in anyone’s hands. Newt Gingrich, if he takes the GOP nomination will sure have his hands full with regards to past events and electability, but for all we know he may still bare the title of President in less than a year.