NYT, WSJ Handicap The 2012 Election

Somebody please get the Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz and the New York Times’s Nate Silver into the same room.

In Wednesday’s Journal, Rabinowitz makes a compelling case for Newt Gingrich as a viable alternative to Mitt Romney in the GOP presidential primaries:

Whoever his competitors are in Iowa and beyond, Mr. Gingrich faces a hard fight for the nomination. His greatest asset lies in his capacity to speak to Americans as he has done, with such potency, during the Republican debates. No candidate in the field comes close to his talent for connection. There’s no underestimating the importance of such a power in the presidential election ahead, or any other one.

His rise in the polls suggests that more and more Republicans are absorbing that fact, along with the possibility that Mr. Gingrich’s qualifications all ’round could well make him the most formidable contender for the contest with Barack Obama.

Nowhere in her piece does Rabinowitz mention former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. But Silver’s Times piece picks Huntsman as the GOP’s best hope against Obama, as the Washington Post reports:

Who will win next year’s presidential race? Well, the results are in from the best forecaster of the 2008 election. Headline: Huntsman is the strongest possible candidate against President Obama. Subhead: Both Romney and Huntsman win under the most likely economic scenarios.

These results are from electoral swami Nate Silver, who predicted accurately 49 of 50 state outcomes in the last presidential election.

Huntsman? Romney? Gingrich?

Bakeoff!

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