Friday, December 2, 2011

A Newt win would be very surprising indeed

Okay, we are right in the middle of a massive Newtmentum surge, or the Newtening, or Electric Newtaloo or something. Gingrich is surging in the polls. Yes, Bachmann, Perry, and Cain all had surges, but maybe this time it's different?

Personally, I'm unconvinced. Here's why:
The above chart shows the percentages of endorsements from governors, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, and former presidential candidates claimed by the current GOP candidates (courtesy of Nate Silver). As can be seen, Romney and Perry are splitting in terms of gubernatorial endorsements, but the former is walking away with all the other categories.

Remember, as The Party Decides reminds us, endorsements do a much better job predicting presidential nominations than polls do, and insider support is much more important than one bad TV interview. Now, is it possible that the universe described by The Party Decides no longer exists? Sure! Maybe Internet fundraising has changed everything, maybe the Tea Party has thrown off the equations, etc. It's hard to say in advance. But given the choice, I tend to fall in with the argument that what has governed elections in the past probably governs them today.

At any rate, this race is turning into a great test of Cohen et al.'s theory.

4 comments:

marc said...

Slightly off the point but it's impressive how commentators have mostly avoided jokes about the candidates names, despite us quickly reaching a critical mass of candidate name weirdness. The two front runners are Newt and Mittens, hoping to take on Barack? As planned by Reince Priebus. Is it just too easy? (Newtron! Mytth! Borack!)

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