We’ll kick off the week with good news highlighted by Jennifer Rubin (The Washington Post). The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll shows Mitt Romney is tops:
Mitt Romney is back in the number-one spot in another poll. “Mitt Romney has a growing lead in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and almost half of the party’s voters expect him to be the nominee, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Twenty-eight percent of Republicans backed the former Massachusetts governor, giving him a lead of 8 percentage points over his nearest challenger Herman Cain in the poll, taken November 10-11. Romney was 5 percentage points ahead in a survey November 7-8. Newt Gingrich, the U.S. House of Representatives speaker in the mid-1990s, solidified a recent rise among conservatives seeking an alternative to the more moderate Romney, coming in third place in the current poll with 16 percent.”
More from The Washington Post:
Mitt the inevitable?
By Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake 11/14/2011
In the past few weeks, a realization appears to have dawned on the political world: Mitt Romney is very likely to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012.
* President Obama’s campaign surrogates have focused their critique exclusively on Romney of late; former White House communicator Bill Burton released a memo Saturday attacking the Republican as a flip-flopper on the issue of abortion.
* Forty-five percent of Republicans in an early November Gallup survey said they believe Romney will be the nominee, triple the percentage (13 percent) that see businessman Herman Cain as the likely GOP nominee. Just 9 percent named Texas Gov. Rick Perryand 4 percent said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich would be the nominee.
“They continue to methodically build a foundation that, with each passing day, is capable of weathering an increasingly strong storm,” said Jim Dyke, a senior party strategist not affiliated with any of the candidates, of the Romney campaign.
What’s interesting about the Romney rise is that it isn’t a rise at all. Romney has remained steady, while his potential rivals have fallen.
Cain has struggled to get beyond the allegations of sexual harassment that have dogged his campaign for the last several weeks. While his core support remains surprisingly strong in the face of the accusations, the momentum he was building prior to the revelations has been almost entirely stopped.
Perry’s implosion has been more slow-moving — his best days in the race were his first ones — but he put an exclamation point on his struggles with his now-infamous “oops” moment.
And, while there’s no question that Gingrich appears to be the conservative alternative of the moment, his long record in public life — not to mention the lack of any real organization in early states — makes him look like a long shot to unseat Romney.
“No campaign has shown they have the resources, the organization, the candidate and the strategy to capture voters in a sustained way,” noted Dyke.
Romney’s campaign, not surprisingly, is not “taking anything for granted,” according to spokeswoman Andrea Saul. (They are also taking it day by day, working hard to earn every vote …)
(emphasis, italics added)
► Jayde Wyatt