There were no noticeable anti-Gingrich ads run by Super PACs against Gingrich in New Hampshire. There was no "Anybody-but-Newt" activity. Aside from the Washington/New York-based media, no one much cared about Gingrich.
I like Newt. As you know I have worked for, and around, him for the better part of 30 years. We understand each other the way people with egos the size of Wyoming understand each other: We recognize and wave to one another going opposite ways on the Interstate.
Newt's anger at Mitt Romney colored his thinking about how he needed to proceed in New Hampshire. His purchase, through his own Super PAC, of a pre-packaged anti-Romney movie which will be played in South Carolina over the next 10 days, appeared to have drawn more anger toward him, than toward its intended target, Mitt Romney.
Newt attracted 13 percent of the vote in Iowa and about 10 percent of the vote in New Hampshire. It is difficult to see how he is going to get to the nomination (as he assured us he would do just 30 days ago) at an average support level of about 11.5 percent per contest.
The circus now moves on to South Carolina with a far higher percentage of evangelical conservatives than New Hampshire.
If Mitt Romney wins there after winning in Iowa and New Hampshire, the other candidates will see the arc of this campaign and will conclude - along with their donors - that Romney will be the Republican nominee, will thank their supporters, and will return to their regular programming.
No one dropped out of the race last night, so the non-Romney vote will continue to be diffused.
Paul, Santorum, Gingrich and Perry will split the support of South Carolinians who want someone other than Mitt Romney meaning effective tonight no one with any sense will write a check to the Presidential campaign of anyone not named Romney or Obama.
It is clear to me that the Romney team can now begin planning how it wants the Republican National Convention in Tampa to look in August.
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