In the Republican nomination battle what goes up inevitably seems to come down. Following similar patterns by Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich is now falling in the polls. In retrospect it shouldn’t be surprising that people taking a close look at him would be turned off. Republican voters are still understandably not happy with the choice of Mitt Romney. As Gingrich falls, the number of undecided voters have increased. Plus there has been an increase lately in Ron Paul’s polling numbers in Iowa.
This leads some to question if Paul can actually win in Iowa. Ed Morrissey raises this question as a reason to review Paul’s racist and anti-Semitic past. Many libertarians abandoned their support for Paul when his denials regarding the racist writings in his newsletter were debunked. Libertarians really should have taken a closer look at Paul’s ideas as well as past. Paul is not as much a libertarian as a supporter of the old right’s views on states’ rights and isolationism, also tainted by the racist and anti-Semitic views common on that end of the political spectrum. Add to that a belief in numerous wacky conspiracy theories and acceptance of creationism.
Paul will inevitably fall if he should take the lead and receive the type of scrutiny which other candidates have received. With the race so volatile, I wouldn’t rule out the chance that he could win in Iowa before this occurs, but I doubt it. Even if he could win in Iowa, it is hard to see him having much success in subsequent states, which ultimately helps Mitt Romney if no serious threat to him can emerge in Iowa.
The nomination of Mitt Romney cannot be called inevitable considering the degree of hostility towards him by many on the right. He still might be stopped if conservatives can unite around another choice (or perhaps several choices, sending the nomination to the convention). As each candidate rises and falls, it gets harder to see a scenario actually playing out to deny Romney the nomination. On the other hand, polls taken weeks before a primary have limited predictive value and we still might see some surprises in the early contests.