Mitchell Reports | January 23, 2012
>>> mitt romney and newt gingrich are both getting a lot more personal as they kick off their florida campaigns today, with me editor of the "cook politic politic political report" charlie cook . this is a different campaign with gingrich winning south carolina and barrelling into florida and mitt romney playing the angry guy, who has the advantage coming into florida ?
>> nobody expected this, this is a plot twist that nobody expected. to think that you had michele bachmann winning the straw poll and rick santorum winning the iowa caucus and romney the primary and gingrich winning in south carolina , nobody anticipated this. this, i think, i do not like making dramatic statements, but florida is make it or break it for mitt romney . if you do not see romney win florida , the establishment of the party will pull away, and you'll start seeing them question is it too late for someone to get in and look at the filing deadlines for the 13 states that will not have passed before florida . good r if romney wins florida , he will probably be the nominee, if he doesn't, i think you'll see all heck breaking loose.
>> there's a new gallop tracking poll, by the way, michael steele , you helped the write the rules when you were republican chairman. what about the rules. florida is winner take all?
>> no it's not.
>> fix it.
>> florida broke the rules. and as under the rules as we passed them the win or take all state, their delegates will be aportioned, there's a rule that is already in the rnc rules that says, when you break the rules you lose 50% of your delegates.
>> south carolina already lost 60% of their delegates.
>> and those remaining are allocated pro portionally. there's a request to ignore the rule as was passed by the members last year and allow florida 's delegates go winner take all. i don't think that will happen or it should happen and the reality is that it puts florida much more in play for those who are down a little bit in the numbers.
>> let ask you to follow-up, are there enough states that are have not already passed the filing deadline for another candidate at this stage to get into it?
>> i think that conversation is just quite frankly silly. the grassroots of this the party would absolutely go apaplectic if they think they are going to roll are somebody in and get them on the ballot expect them to come in and be the nominee?
>> charlie cook , this new poll, and i know we do not put too much stock in tracking polls. it has romney at 29 and gingrich at 28 and paul at 13 and santorum at 11. they are tied statistically. this thing is wide open and tonight's debate becomes ever so much more important. with we know that gingrich will come on with a beat up the media strategy . that has worked for him on msnbc, and cnn and on cnbc, he keeps attacking the messenger.
>> i'm a bigger fan of the gallop ratracking poll than most people. i think it's a good approximation of what is going on. this is more about newt going up and yes, romney has dropped but newt is really, really, really surging. when you have a candidate with a 25% favorable and 50% unfavorable in the national polls you'll see a lot of party officials going crazy. and i understand, i mean, look, i'm not a believer in brokered conventions or anything like that, but you have california, indiana, new york, new jersey, oregon and pennsylvania who have filing deadlines that will not have passed until after the florida primary .
>> he makes a very good point.
>> he makes a great point, but this is not about what the establishment wants. has anyone paid attention to what is happening in the primary. the grassroots activists are making up their mind when they want. they seem to want to coalesce around newt. we don't know whether or not that will really happen. they are the ones driving this. and the folks that sit in their towers in washington, yeah, they will loser their minds. but the base will make the decision.
>> they are worried about losing the house. and that is what they are talking about, they are worried that newt at the top of the ticket.
>> the party has a message, a winning message, we will get it done.
>> if there's a vacuum, it will get filled.
>> it will.
>> nature hates a vacuum. someone taught me that. president obama