Six weeks from Tuesday – January 10, 2012 – is the New Hampshire Primary. That day – and night – will be the end of Mitt Romney’s six-year quest to become President of the United States.
Here is how things are going to go between today and January 10th – and thereafter:
· The GOP primary voter hates the GOP Establishment; that is why the Tea Party was born;
· These voters do not like Mitt Romney. He has never connected with them. His disastrous, churlish Brett Baier Fox News Channel interview last Tuesday accelerated his decline and thus the inevitable end of his campaign;
· The Tea Party and Christian Evangelical voter – and they are two distinct groups – have never liked Mitt;
· These voters are now the heart of the GOP;
· They are coalescing behind Newt Gingrich - for now;
· Cain’s remaining voters will now go to Newt as the best vehicle to rebel against the GOP Establishment;
· So here is the chronology: Newt Gingrich will solidify in the polls over the next month as the Anti-Romney/anti-GOP Establishment vessel– even as he says things filled with hubris and arrogance that make people begin to wonder if he is really the right man to be the GOP nominee;
· The New Hampshire Union Leader will – as they did four years ago when they tore Romney apart after endorsing McCain – begin using their news pages to excoriate Romney’s record in government and business; his polls numbers in New Hampshire will thus continue to decline;
· Newt will win the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd; Romney might come in third or even fourth;
· Immediately thereafter the bottom will drop out of Romney’s remaining support in the Granite State as Newt surges there;
· A week later, Newt wins New Hampshire.
· The polls – which today have Newt crushing Mitt in both South Carolina and Florida – will reflect the end of Romney; Romney’s remaining national support will sink like a stone;
· That is when Phase Two of the GOP Race begins:
· Voters and GOP office-holders and officials realize that Newt Gingrich is not the candidate to lead the Republicans in the general election.
· His negatives will grow; to see a lot of Newt is to not like him;
· Republican Congressmen and Senate candidates will be in an absolute state of panic over a November general election with Newt at the top of the ticket.
· Talk will begin of an anti-Newt getting into the race – in March or April – to save the party.
· That is for another column down the line.
· Right now we are witnessing the grass-roots GOP primary voter rising up and rejecting Mitt Romney.
· Newt Gingrich is mis-reading that phenomenon and believes these voters buy him; they don’t really know him - yet;
· He is a vessel for angry, anti-establishment, outsider voters. Nothing more.
· Ironically, these voters are embracing – temporarily – the candidate who encompasses everything they loathe: insider, money-making cronyism, lobbying, rigging the DC system to himself. Newt is the champion of this behavior – and yet these voters are championing him!
· But Newt’s biggest problem – an unrestrained megalomania – will soon overtake him.
· He will wear badly – and by the spring the voters will be crying for someone else.
· So buckle your seatbelts for a wild few weeks to come!
John LeBoutillier is a former U.S. congressman and a nationally recognized political commentator. LeBoutillier has been a prolific writer and he has contributed to many major newspapers and magazines. In 1980, LeBoutillier was elected to represent New York’s 6th District becoming the youngest member of the 97th Congress. He also has been a frequent commentator, host and guest of many media programs.