The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier Monday, January 23, 2012

On Newt Gingrich’s lead in the Florida polls:

South Carolina hinged not on the debate result but on two moments that propelled Gingrich over the top.

If you look at the swing in the electorate in Florida, it’s just amazing these mood swings. Two weeks ago, Romney was up by 20 over Gingrich and now it looks as if he’s down by ten. That’s a 30-point swing. If you get that in a patient, you pull out the lithium.

It’s quite remarkable how much and how quickly [the polls changed]…. [It] is absolutely amazing how much it hinges on the debates and on the moments.

On whether Gingrich’s strategy centers on “tapping into” anti-Washington sentiment:

I think you’re right. It’s a matter of emotion, reaction. The John King moment was a moment where he tapped into that motion. And I think all this discussion of how conservative he is, how reliable he is, where he stands on issue x or y, is missing the point.

The most important internal number in South Carolina was not gender or ideology or religion. It was those deciding late, meaning [those] who were reacting to what happened in the debates — [they] went two 2 to 1 for Gingrich.

It was the moment. It was the emotion, capturing it… What Gingrich has done is [to] seize that. And that I think transcends the parsing of ideology….

One point on… those who voted early [in Florida]: The math on that is one in seven who already have [voted early], with Romney in the lead by 11 percent. That means Romney has a 1.5-point lead [overall]. But assuming everyone is now reacting to what happened in South Carolina, that is all he gets. [Therefore] Gingrich — if he is up by two [points] — will win [Florida]. And now he’s up by nine.

On Ron Paul’s caucus-state strategy:

…The reason he will go to caucus states is because a caucus is a measure of intensity, as opposed to a statewide vote, which is a measure of other things. He spoke openly about this after the New Hampshire vote on election night, where he spoke about the fact that he is building a movement. That is what he’s interested in. And if he ends up in Tampa with a substantial number of delegates he will make a stand. He will give his philosophy, which is clearly gaining adherents. And that will be a place where he could launch a movement that will live after him.

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