Newt Gingrich: 40%
Mitt Romney: 28%
Rick Santorum: 17%
Ron Paul: 13%
What a week that lead into this Primary. It started with Newt Gingrich having a strong performance in the Fox News debate on Monday. Then, throughout the week, the media was all over Mitt Romney Bain Capital and Romney's taxes, as were the candidates. Then, out of nowhere, ABC News is leaked to have in their possession Newt's 2nd ex-wife that was ready to unload on him in an interview. ABC News had every intention of airing this on Monday, 1/23, but the Drudge Report scooped them and it was moved up... This prompted the CNN debate on Thursday to get really heated:
Newt's response during the Thursday CNN debate, as well as Mitt Romney imploding over fumbling his Tax Return answers ("maybe I will" release them) caused Newt to dominate tonight. Sure, being so close to Georgia, Newt's represented state during his House years helped, but Romney has a serious problem.
In my opinion, Barack Obama will paint Romney as a "Wall Street CEO" during the 2012 Election. However, questions over Romney's days at his private equity firm, Bain Capital, and his net worth will eat him alive. Republican voters are already unsure on Romney who has issues with RomneyCare in Massachusetts and being moderate on Social Conservative matters. But for his inability explain why he's only paying a 15% tax rate (Capital Gains Tax) versus the 35% income for salaries above $388,350 (but Romney doesn't have an employer or isn't an employer to earn an income) will destroy him.
I think that in Newt's personal life, he's so successful (as shown by his reported $200 million+ net worth) that he's not as attached to every American as say Newt, Rick Santorum, or Ron Paul who have had to represent large groups of everyday Americans. Mitt Romney just saw numbers on a balance sheet and there's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing wrong with Mitt's taxes, either. But HIS failure to explain to everyday Americans not in his successful world is his downfall.
I think that Mitt's in serious trouble and I also think that Conservatives are warming up to having Newt as their nominee just to see him Debate Barack Obama.
As for Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Irrelevant this evening, and probably in the next contests as well. Santorum still has the George W. Bush stigma to him, provided his votes with Bush during the 2000's on big spending and Ron Paul just doesn't market himself well enough to get more support. However with Ron Paul, his relentless criticism of the Federal Reserve has been a big influence on members of this election.
I think that Mitt Romney will win Florida in 10 days, thanks to $7 million already spent there in attack ads and a reported 200,000 early votes already sent in... But if Newt carries momentum into Florida and steals this state from Mitt, wow... REAL trouble is in the cards for Mitt Romney if Florida is lost.
Mitt HAS to better educate the American people about his business and his wealth... Because Obama will eat him alive if he's unclear to the American people about his business practices and wealth.