I Take It All Back. Florida Is Completely In Play.

In the wake of poll results released this morning showing Gingrich pulling ahead of Romney among likely Republican voters in Florida, the mail-in ballots Romney staff have been working for months to help people mail in are looking less like a firewall than a rope to cling to. Now in response to unrelenting demands that he release his tax returns, Mitt Romney finally has done so and it isn’t pretty. Despite making more money than his major opponents, including the President, he’s been paying a lower tax rate than many middle-class Americans, the Washington Post reports.

There will be those who attempt to defend this and call criticisms of it “class warfare” and “envy.” But even fairly well-to-do upper-middle-class lifelong Republicans are going to look at that and say it looks bad. The whole country’s suffering, Wall Street’s riddled with crooks, and middle-class taxpayers can look and see for themselves that they’re paying a higher tax rate than this guy who’s paying less than 16% on money he mostly made on Wall Street while businesses were closing, homes were being foreclosed on, and jobs were a scarce commodity.

It doesn’t look good, and even rock-ribbed Republicans will know it.

I now find myself wondering if we won’t see Romney essentially tie or even lose in Florida, do the same in Michigan and the other upcoming states, and winds up going into Super Tuesday hoping he’s just got enough money to blizzard his competition away with ads.

Oh my God. We may be seriously be talking about Newt Gingrich as the favorite to win the nomination. It’s not that I hate Gingrich, it’s just flat-out astonishing.

(This item cross-posted to The Moderate Voice.)