Romney can expect a big victory in Florida

The uncertainty and excitement are gone ahead of tomorrow’s Republican primary in Florida. All opinion polls have Mitt Romney in the lead, some by as much as 20 percent, and political statistician Nate Silver on his blog FiveThirtyEight writes that Romney has 97 percent chance of winning and is expected to capture nearly 45 percent of the vote.

So, a big victory for Romney, according to Silver, well ahead of Newt Gingrich’s 29 percent, Rick Santorum’s 13 percent, and Ron Paul’s 11 percent.

If Silver’s predictions come true, Gingrich will have serious difficulties to continue his campaign. He is already short of money and a big loss in Florida will make it much more difficult to raise more funds, while the situation for Romney would be the exact opposite.

Romney is also the favorite in most of the contests in February — in Nevada and Arizona because of their substantial Mormon populations, and in Michigan because Romney was born there and his father was once its governor.

The road ahead for Gingrich after the expected loss in Florida tomorrow is not easy. However, he has already said he intends to continue until the party convention in Tampa, Florida this summer. But we have heard such declarations before during this campaign, and they have often been followed by a somber press conference with the candidate giving up and going home.

The two remaining candidates, Santorum and Paul, have barely campaigned at all in Florida, and it is hard to understand why they are still in the race, other than to continue to promote their ideas and to make PR for themselves. For Santorum, there might also be with something else in mind, such as a cabinet post if Romney beats Obama, or another attempt to represent Pennsylvania again in the U.S. Senate.


And now Newt Gingrich will save the Republican Party…

The Republican primary voters seem to have found yet another new savior of the party. Let’s see how long that lasts.

This time it’s the political veteran and former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, who suddenly has caught a strong wind in his back judging from the latest opinion polls after a long period at the bottom of the field.

In contrast, Mitt Romney continues to languish around 20 percent. The support for Herman Cain has dropped significantly and Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are stuck in single digits.

The question is whether Gingrich’s rise means anything more than that the search among the Republican primary voters to find a candidate who can seriously challenge President Obama — now with renewed momentum — has entered a desperate stage. For just like Perry, Bachmann and Cain before him, the grumpy, unpredictable and condescending Gingrich, who loves to complain about the media and their questions, has little chance in the end to capture the nomination.

The twelve television debates to date with the eight candidates have been an embarrassing, yes, a sorrow spectacle, and it’s not over yet – another 14 debates wait until March next year …

Is this the best the GOP has to offer? It is a question many Republican voters also must ask themselves when watching Rick Perry’s brain freeze recently, when he could not remember which three departments he wants to eliminate, or Herman Cain’s brain freeze the other day after a question about Libya.

The foreign policy debate on Saturday in South Carolina was particularly illustrative of how weak the field is. Their superficial foreign policy knowledge, with the exception of former Ambassador Jon Huntsman, was astonishing. Everyone wanted to prove tough – yes, bomb Iran!

And Cain’s, Bachmann’s and Perry’s support of waterboarding when interrogating terrorist suspects was downright shocking. Thankfully, they were met with opposition by Huntsman and Ron Paul.

And afterwards, former Republican presidential candidate and prisoner of war, John McCain, called the waterboarding statements “disappointing, ” and President Obama stated forcefully:

“They’re wrong. Waterboarding is torture. It’s contrary to America’s tradition. It’s contrary to our ideals. That’s not who we are. That’s not how we operate. We do not need it in order to prosecute the war on terrorism. And we did the right thing by ending that practice. If we want to lead around the world, part of our leadership is setting a good example. And anybody who has actually read about and understand the practice of waterboarding would say that that is torture. And that’s not something we do – period. “

Of course! How could anyone say anything else?