TheDC Morning: Florida will not dissuade Gingrich

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
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1.) Gingrich wins Florida! — Even if Newt Gingrich loses the Florida primary today as polls suggest he will (see below), he can at least take comfort in the fact that he won the Tea Party Patriots straw poll. TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:

“Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich won a straw poll of Florida Tea Party Patriots members held on a conference call Sunday evening, with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum a close second … At the end of the call, participants were asked who they would vote for if the election were held today. Thirty-five percent said they would vote for Gingrich, 31 percent for Santorum, 18 percent for Romney, and 11 percent for Paul. Five percent selected none of the above.”

Unfortunately for Gingrich, tea party phone votes don’t win you delegates. Just ask Ron Paul. If online polls won you delegates, Paul would have been president in 2008 — instead of the only candidate currently in the 2012 GOP primary to have not yet won an actual electoral contest this cycle.

2.) Chris Christie acts like Chris Christie — While explaining a bizarre analogy that drew bizarre criticism, the loquacious governor of New Jersey called one of his legislative antagonists “numbnuts.” TheDC’s Alex Pappas reports:

“It all started last week when Christie called for a voter referendum on gay marriage. ‘I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South,’ Christie said. Those comments upset Democratic assemblyman Reed Gusciora, who responded last week by saying, ‘Govs. Lester Maddox and George Wallace would have found allies in Chris Christie over efforts by the Justice Department to end segregation in the South.’”

In a press conference, Christie then dropped the “numbnuts” bomb on Gusciora. For his part, Gusciora promised to return Christie’s insult with a noogie when he sees him next (this can’t be confirmed because it was made up.) Maybe Christie’s brashness will eventually become tiresome, but as of now, he remains as awesome as ever.

3.) Sen. Diane Feinstein (D — Peer Pressure) — California Sen. Diane Feinstein has caved to taunts from her Republican opponent and started using Twitter. Or, probably more accurately, is adding more work for her staff by having them maintain a Twitter account for her. TheDC’s Alexis Levinson reports:

“California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein joined Twitter Sunday, following a dig by her newly announced Republican opponent that she was ‘out of touch’ with her constituents because she had failed to embrace social media. ‘If you want to know what she’s doing in Washington, you’ll have to mail her a letter or send her a telegram to ask,’ Elizabeth Emken, a Republican challenger for Feinstein’s seat, said in a fundraising letter.”

In other news, we now know whether Sen. Feinstein would jump off a bridge if all her friends did.

4.) DC voting rights? But the District already has Sen. Lugar — Sen. Richard Lugar may officially represent Indiana in the U.S. Senate, but he does so without actually living in the state. TheDC’s Will Rahn reports:

“Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar is running for re-election in a state he has not lived in for over 30 years. Lugar sold his home at 3200 Highwoods Court in Indianapolis shortly after first assuming office in 1977. But due to a loophole in Indiana law, both he and his wife Charlene Lugar are still registered to vote at that address.”

Lugar keeps the pulse of his state from his residence in a tony D.C. suburb, just as the founders surely intended.

5.) Poll of the Day –RealClearPolitics polling average for today’s Florida primary: Mitt Romney 41.8%, Newt Gingrich 28.8%, Rick Santorum 13.0%; Ron Paul 10.3%.

6.) BIRTHDAYS! –Gouverneur Morris turns 260 (h/t George Washington); the late baseball barrier breaker Jackie Robinson turns 93; former pitcher Nolan Ryan turns 65 (h/t George W. Bush); songbird Justin Timberlake turns 31.

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