Seth R and I have a bet now as to who is going to win the nomination. I’m betting on Gingrich (or at least someone other than Romney) and he on Romney. Frankly, all things being equal, the odds are on his side. This article here explains why. In the article, we have a PhD explaining why the predictions market still favors Romney over Gingrich. Essentially, it boils down to what possible scenarios will play out for the first states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida) and how they anticipate the Republican bosses reacting.
One interesting idea in the article is that the anti-Romney crowd, seeing Gingrich can’t win, promotes Jon Huntsman or Ron Paul instead leading to a victory over Gingrich.
So I can see why Seth and others feel like Gingrich is only an outside chance.
I suppose the reason I disagree with the experts is that I feel that these experts aren’t taking the true prejudice 1/3 of Evangelicals feel towards Mormons into consideration because they don’t really understand it. They are still thinking in terms of normal rational behavior, not prejudice behavior. To me, it seems obvious that these experts keep getting it wrong precisely because they don’t understand the level of prejudice that exists. So, for example, they keep predicting that Romney is ‘inevitable’ or what have you.
One obvious example of this is the idea that the anti-Romney crowd would ever pick Jon Huntsman as their candidate. Yet here are the experts calculating the odds as if the ‘anti-Romney’ sentiment was somehow just about Romney personally. They literally can’t see the truth.
By the way, I do believe a mass exodus from Gingrich from an implosion could lead to a surge for Ron Paul out of sheer desperation. I don’t believe that will happen in the time remaining, however. That’s why I have running joke of tagging my posts as “Ron Paul 2012.”
This brings up an interesting political strategy that Ron Paul lovers should have used — they should have all promoted Gingrich from the beginning so that he imploded with enough time to make Ron Paul the anti-Romney just before the election. They might consider this for next time when Jon Huntsman runs again.
Another interesting question is, how much might the 1/3 be okay with Jon Huntsman? He’s been smart enough to downplay his Mormonism. This all reminds me of Senator Smoot who basically claimed to be less inactive so that the Senate would seat him. Of course this is humorous coming from a member of the 12 Apostles, but since he had primarily worked with Church businesses as his callings it was easy to re-brand him as a business man rather than a religion leader. Smart thinking. It might just work for Huntsman too.