People argue over how early a real memory can be. There are essentially two (valid) camps: Some suggest that memory is so closely tied to linguistic processing and symbolic thinking, which is thought to emerge after a year or so of life, that memories of the first few months of life are impossible. Others disagree, and while acknowledging that very few people have extremely early memories (as adults), the occasional pre-linguistic memory is possible. (For the record, I’m a member of the second group, though I also agree that linguistic and symbolic processing are generally associated with forming vital memories.) Those int he first group have notoriously glommed on to the idea of “constructed memory” to erase all contrary evidence by labeling it as made up. How convenient!
Two different polls paint very different pictures for Tuesday’s primary in Michigan. The PPP Poll released February 26ths puts Romney ahead of Santorum and makes a very solid argument that Romney is ahead and that it will be difficult for Santorum to move enough voters into his camp to take the lead. The Mitchell Research poll, released on February 27th, makes a good argument that although Romney was ahead as of last Thursday, Santorum has in fact moved enough voters into his camp to be numerically ahead of Romney by 2% points in a poll with a 3.34% margin of error.
First the results: New Gingrich Did Not Lose by As Much As You Might have Guessed He Might.
By the numbers, as estimated by various news agencies:
That’s a mighty strong showing for “Other” … it will be interesting to look into that.
Here’s the sequence over the last several days showing the March of the Numbers comparing Romney and Gingrich in polls
The pattern we see in Florida reflects the pattern of the overall primary process. No one ever had any doubt that Romney was going to win this primary, but in fact, there were two times when he was not ahead in the polls, and at the last minute, note that Romney was dropping in numbers with Gingrich gaining . Ron Paul remains irrelevant.
Here’s the bigger picture. Before the Iowa Caucuses Romney was considered the most likely person to win. Santorum won.
Before the New Hampshire Primary was considered the most likely person to win. But Oscar the Grouch could have won that primary had he been from the Greater Boston Area, of which New Hampshire is a minor suburb.
Before the North Carolina Primary, Romney was considered to be the most likely person to win. Um. New Gingrich won that primary.
So, to date, the candidate who is repeatedly labeled as the most likely to win the nomination has won half of the contests and is being dogged by a formidable, if obnoxious, opponent.
After a surprising showing in South Carolina, New Gingrich pulled way ahead of Mitt Romney, in pre-Florida Primary polling. But that sudden increase in numbers quickly eased off and Gingrich and Romney remained very close for a few days, with Romney a few points ahead. Over the last 36 hours, Romney has put significant distance between his candidacy and Gingrich’s, with Romney polling consistently above 40% and Gingrich consistanly double digits behind. Santorum is holding steady at 12-14%, and nobody cares about Ron Paul.
However, in comparing all of the candidates in polls asking people across the country which Republican they would vote for, Romney is NOT a clear winner. In fact, Gingrich tends to score a couple of points ahead of Romney. In one recent poll (NBC/Wall Street Journal) Gingrich was 9 points ahead. In the most recent poll (Gallup Tracking) Gingrich was just 2 points ahead.
But the preference for Gingrich does not align with national polls comparing the various republican candidates with Obama. In these polls, Romney tends to come closer to Obama’s lead than does Gingrich, who tends to get his ass whupped by the President, with Barack Obama showing a double-digit lead over the hapless and blithering ex-speaker.
But a lot can change in two days. Gingrich is on the attack against Romney, and his main point of attack seems to be to point out how Romney is on the attack against Gingrich. I don’t expect this to change the outcome of the Florida Primary. Romney will win there, although is it always possible that he will win by less than the current polls suggest. But what may happen over the longer term is a shift in the overall view of Gingrich and Romney by Republican voters in general. I expect there to be a downgrading of support for both “Front Runners” as they continue to slam each other. Santorum will come out a minor winner over the medium term, possibly even taking a state or two if his strategy is managed effectively and his money holds out.
The Florida Primary is set for Tuesday, January 31st. Romney, Gingrich, Paul and Santorum are running. For a while there it looked like Gingrich was an easy winner, because his numbers were jumping rapidly in the polls, but things have settled down and it is starting to look more like a Gingrich-Romney horse race. Here are the numbers: Continue reading The Florida Primary: A First Look→
This will not bother many of those who support him, but anyone who is leaning right these days but who thought the Draft and the Viet Nam war was bad, might want to know about his activities. They were, of course, a long time ago, so it really does not matter much. What does matter is that he was protesting to retain the draft at the same time that he was exempt from it, which makes Mitt Romney a bit of a dick.