Among the questions included in a recent Bloomberg poll was the question of whether or not caucus goers would support a candidate who is on their third wife and had multiple affairs. A question which was obviously aimed squarely at Newt Gingrich.
The results of that question do not bode well for Mister Gingrich, but the same Bloomberg poll posed similar questions directed at the other candidates, and none of them faired well. Dave Weigel elaborates.
In Iowa, 48 percent of caucus-goers say yes, "they would rule out" such a candidate; only 49 percent say they wouldn't. In the Live Free or Die state, it's 40 percent who rule such a candidate out, and 58 percent who don't. Bad news for Newt Gingrich.
Except... well, Bloomberg asked a bunch of questions, and found that every potential winner has a huge liability. "If the candidate has been accused of sexual harassment," 30 percent of Iowans and 43 percent of New Hampshire voters say they'd rule the candidate out. (Do note that discomfort with sexual harassment falls as obsession with personal marital status rises.) Sorry, Herman. In Iowa, 58 percent of voters rule a candidate out if "the candidate has favored a mandate to buy health insurance." In New Hampshire, it's 46 percent. Sorry, Mitt. In Iowa, 42 percent of voters rule a candidate if he "has supported in-state college tuition rates for American-born children of undocumented immigrants." In New Hampshire, it's 51 percent. Sorry, Rick. No, the other Rick.
In a primary environment where every candidate is equally disliked for various reasons, it would seem almost impossible to predict a winner.
I'm not sure if it even matters who wins the primaries and goes on to become the Republican nominee, though. Because whoever the nominee is, they will have so much baggage the Obama Campaign won't have to lift a finger to discredit them.
Or as President Obama says, "maybe we'll just run the Republican debates verbatim, and let the voters make up their own mind."