Is a Newt “Implosion” now Romney’s main hope?

Is a Newt “Implosion” now Romney’s main hope?

Mitt trailing badly in 3 of the first 4 states

With the first elections in the 2012 White House race just over three and a half weeks away a very firm trend is being seen in the polls which are coming out several times a day.

The latest overnight, from CNN-Time, are in the first four states to decide – those that will go through their primary process in January. In three Gingrich has double digit leads over Romney – 13% in Iowa and 23% in South Caroline and Florida.

Only in the fourth, New Hampshire, does Romney, the former governor of the neighbouring state of Massachusetts, still have a lead. When CNN-Time last polled there at the end of October he had a 35% gap over Gingrich. That’s down to just 9%.

All this is leading to speculation that the only way Newt Gingrich can be stopped is if in some way he “implodes” – him saying or doing something that is so outrageous that Republican voters will see him in a different light.

That is not as remote a possibility as it might seem. Newt who has been a major political figure in the US for at least two decades has “form” and this is now being raised directly with him in interviews.

Newt seems to be at his most vulnerable in this respect when he’s at his most confident and the latest polling is certainly making him that.

Maybe this is why, in spite of all the polling, Mitt Romney remains a solid favourite at just above evens on Betfair.

My guess is if by the end of January Gingrich has chalked up solid victories in three of the four early states and there hasn’t been an “implosion” then he’ll look pretty good for the nomination.

Mike Smithson @MikeSmithsonOGH

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