I can only say so often that the swing voters in the center of the country are among the least-informed voters on the planet. Every survey demonstrates that, despite their claims to be all about "the substance" and "the issues," they know less about the substance and the issues than partisans on either side of the aisle.RTWT. If Perry gets the nomination, I'll vote for him. Same with Santorum, Gingrich or even Bachmann. But if Romney or Huntsman wind up with it, then you can just say hello to four more years of Obummer, and goodbye to America.
Being apolitical, they're not very interested in politics. Stands to reason. This means, then, that they don't read much about politics.
Their decision-making is very superficial. Although I do not think that Newt Gingrich's affairs/divorces history is a disqualifier, I think it cannot be entirely discounted.
I would suggest that we should not get too hung up on fighting the last war, because the media will simply change the rules of engagement. It is true that Gingrich can go toe-to-toe with Obama on policy wonkery; it is also true that that is the very reason the media will lose all interest in intellect as a basis for comparison or qualifier for high office.
Should Gingrich be our nominee, be prepared to do a lot of double-takes as faithfulness and devotion to family suddenly becomes the key trait in a president.
The media will call Rick Perry stupid, of course. And Perry has armed them with weapons to use on this front. However, his gaffes are now several months old, and he hasn't repeated them.
Primary voters tend to be strongly ideological. We have very strongly held beliefs about abstract notions of government and "The Good."
But general election voters -- especially those swing voters -- do not have strong opinions about such matters. Otherwise they would be partisans for one camp or another. They tend to be pragmatic, rather than abstract, thinkers. They do not have any prevailing theory of governance, which is what gives them the flexibility to vote for George W. Bush in 2004 and then an all-but-declared socialist four years later.
They care almost entirely about results, because they have no underlying theory that might explain away failures (as Obama's endless theories explain away his failures, at least to his partisans).
Other candidates may have theories about their preferred economic system hypothetically producing postulated good outcomes. The ideologue Ron Paul, for example, will regale you with tales about what Austrian Economics might do, were they ever actually put into practice.
Rick Perry can say, "My policy is to have a low tax burden on wealth-creators and a fair and predictable regulatory scheme which does not seek to pick winners and losers, and here is how that has worked out in Texas."
Not theoretical. Not hypothetical. This is what actually happened.