From Amanda Terkel in the Huffington Post (2/1/12):
Newt Gingrich Florida Primary Results 2012: The Candidate Who Refuses to Operate Within Reality
…From the beginning to the end of Gingrich's election night party, the campaign and its supporters seemed to be operating outside of realities, denying the importance of this large state's primary contest and insisting that victory was going to be theirs as soon as voters opened their eyes and truly saw Florida winner Mitt Romney as a "Massachusetts moderate." Gingrich, in fact, never even congratulated Romney on his win.
I'm a fan of Terkel's work, but this genre of punditry is unfortunate. At the moment (Real Clear Politics, 2/1/12), Gingrich is the top choice of Republican voters nationwide, according to surveys by Gallup, NBC/Wall Street Journal and Rassmussen. True, Romney has major advantages in terms of fundraising, organization and party support. But if Gingrich chooses to believe that being the candidate more Republican voters want makes him the candidate most likely to be nominated, that hardly makes him delusional.
Even if he were well behind in the polls, but still wanted to give voters a chance to hear his message and decide whether or not he deserved their support–is that really a reason to ridicule him? More than 90 percent of the nation's voters have yet to have a chance to take part in the nominating process; it's a little early to mock anyone for not having the same foresight as the political pundits who know the results are already a foregone conclusion.