I hadn't given it much thought, but I guess it shouldn't come as a big surprise that women are a lot more supportive of Romney than men are. A Pew poll released earlier this week found that 40% of male likely GOP voters currently support Gingrich, compared to just 19% for Romney. Among women, however, the gap is only one-third as wide, with 29% for Gingrich and 22% for Romney. Gingrich is the ugly, adulterating doughboy; Romney the good-looking, athletic, devoted family man.
More alarming for those like myself who, while not enthused by the idea of a Romney nomination (Ron Paul's still my favorite, though if I had my way his son would be running in his stead), would much rather see the former governor get the nod than Gingrich get it comes from WSJ/NBC polling conducted last week. It asked Republican respondents likely to vote in the primaries to assume that their respective primaries were being held today, and only Gingrich and Romney were in contention for the nomination. Under this scenario, Gingrich cleans Romney's clock, 59%-36%.
The 25% ceiling Romney has been bumping his head on since the campaign began doesn't look like it will rise much even when the race is winnowed down to just two people. As Santorum, Bachmann, and Perry throw in their towels, their supporters will move into the Gingrich camp. Romney gets his best shot if the rest of the field continues to ride the roller coaster up and down. If he doesn't win in Iowa, he needs Ron Paul to. The sooner it becomes Romney vs. the anti-Romney, the worse his chances become.
The Derb has written that Mitt is the odds-on favorite. I wonder if he remains as confident as he did a couple of months ago. Randall Parker concisely stated why Romney is the best choice:
He's got very high analytical skills, understands finance, understands business management, and knows how to be a CEO. His Mormonism is not important. That he governed a liberal state from a moderate position was really the only choice he had as governor of Massachusetts. He's not a nut case or a dummy like some of the other Republican candidates. He harkens back to an earlier (and better) Republican party when executive competence mattered and ideological zeal was suspect.While I couldn't have put it any better myself, his Mormonism, necessary centrism in a liberal state, and his lack of ideological commitment all do, in fact, matter to most Republican primary voters.