Rasmussen Shows Gingrich Over Obama

In what may be a bad sign ultimately for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich has overtaken Barack Obama in a hypothetical poll for the 2012 General Election.  Newt 45, Obama 43 is the Rasmussen headline.

Certainly this is bad news for Barack Obama.  Gingrich has a great deal of distance to cover in order to win over moderates and and establishment Republicans without losing the Social Conservative base.  He has already been attacked by watchdog/attack dog Michele Bachmann for not being conservative enough on illegal immigration.  Mitt Romney is trying to portray Newt as a Washington insider, and liberals like Bruce Bartlett and Paul Krugman are trying to feed a new portrayal of Newt as someone who only sounds smarter than them.  Even Mark Steyn got in on the action while filling in for Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday, saying essentially that Newt only sounds smart because he uses big words.  Yet Newt has accomplished something other flavor of the week Social Conservatives haven’t with this poll.  Falling to Newt this early in a national poll is very bad news for Obama.

So why might it be worse news for Romney?  How about some de ja vu.  Click here for a 2008 New Hampshire poll that might remind you of how the 2008 primary went down. Romney had been the clear choice until polls started showing McCain as being the best candidate to beat Hillary Clinton.  Up until now, Romney has consistently been the best candidate to beat Obama in 2012.

Let’s be honest.  The number one concern of most Republicans when determining who to vote for in this primary is who can beat Barack Obama.  Even though any of the candidates running should be able to beat Obama, many Republicans are basing their vote on that one key: electability.  If Newt continues to beat Obama in the polls, Romney could find himself watching the November results from home for the second time in a row.

Newt vs. the CBO

You can tell the left is afraid of someone when they bring out the big guns.  Relying on his credentials as a former conservative, Bruce Bartlett has come out attacking Newt Gingrich for policies from over a decade and a half ago that Bartlett claims are responsible for today’s Congressional malaise.  Apparently, Ginrich’s reforms were not so terrible that Nancy Pelosi would want to change them when she had the chance.

One of Bartlett’s grips is that Gingrich consistently calls for an end to the CBO because of the way the CBO does projections.  Unfortunately for Bartlett, his faith in the CBO does not have a great track record to back it up.  After recalculating Obamacare costs and tax savings of all the various bi-partisan deals that have come out, the CBO has recently had to come out and admit they blew their projection of how much Obama’s stimulus was going to save the economy, and the number of jobs saved.

The problem with the CBO is that they don’t do dynamic budgeting.  They do projections.  In other words, Bartlett points out that the CBO figured the losses from the Bush tax cuts to be $3 trillion, but those losses are calculated based on the growth during Bush’s presidency and assumes that growth would have happened no matter what.  On the other hand, dynamic budgeting would look at this prolonged Obama recession and see that we have lost close to a trillion dollars a year in tax revenues because of stagnant growth and 9% unemployment.  The CBO, and Bartlett, are not smart enough to figure that out.

Bartlett thinks the CBO is smarter than Newt.  Actually, they just use different processes.  CBO processes are the perfect product of government bureaucracy economics that assume all things are equal and that policies will have no effect beyond the typed text of the bill.  On the other hand, Newt attempts to anticipate how ideas will affect other areas of the economy.  It’s more of a successful business approach where the results of the study mean more than giving one party ammo to sell a bill, like Obamacare.  For more info on the CBO’s recent record, there is a less than flattering article over at Biggovernment.com.

So which budgeting approach is better?  Depends on if you actually care about the results, or if you are a jaded former conservative writing for the New York Times.

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