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A Look at the Numbers and a Look Ahead to Saturday’s Iowa Debate

by | Dec 9, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-Life former Massachussets Gov. Mitt Romney

As promised a quick end-of-the-day look at some of the latest poll numbers. (For those of you who like political news, please also read, “Allen, Kaine go toe to toe in first Senate Debate.”)

An important thing to remember—perhaps even more significant than pro-life former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s astonishing rise from the ashes—is that in poll after poll a significant number of likely caucus/primary goers say they STILL might change their minds. With an electorate that much in flux, there’s no telling when/if there wouldn’t enough reshuffling of the deck.

Here’s what we learn from a CNN/TIME/ORC poll taken from November 29 from December 6.

Pro-Life former Speaker Newt Gingrich

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney still leads in New Hampshire—by 9%– 35% to Gingrich’s 26%. But Gingrich has substantial leads in three states: Iowa (33% to 20%); South Carolina (43% to 20%); and Florida (48% to 25%). The Iowa caucuses are less than a month away!

One other related thought. Since there have been any number of debates, it’s easy to conclude that still another debate can make little or no difference. But not so with this Saturday’s forum at Drake University. POLITICO is likely not overstating the case when it wrote, “With time running out before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, the evening presents everyone else with one of the last big opportunities to shake up the race.”

In addition, with fewer candidates participating, there will be more time for what are expected to be lively exchanges. With Gingrich having roared to the top, it goes without saying that the other candidates have a lot of incentive to draw contrasts in order to slow Gingrich’s momentum.

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Categories: Politics