Romney's 'Prevent Defense' Strategy Boosts Gingrich In South Carolina

Everyone knows that "prevent defense" prevents you from winning the game. Clearly Team Romney has not gotten the memo and needs more seasoning before they can lay claim to the GOP presidential nomination. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver has more:

Most football fans have learned to hate the “prevent defense,” a strategy that is employed when a team holds a lead late in the game. In theory, the strategy involves being willing to yield short completions to the offense in an effort to prevent a big gain. In reality, it seems to yield plenty of short completions — but also its share of big gains as the offense takes advantage of the soft coverage. Hence the aphorism “the prevent defense only prevents you from winning.”

Republican voters generally do like Mr. Romney, but they don’t like him so much that they’re ready to treat him as the presumptive nominee — particularly when voters in states representing 99 percent of the American population have not cast ballots yet.

In the short-run, however, I don’t think Mr. Romney has made things any easier on himself. Our forecasts now say that Mr. Gingrich has become the slight favorite to win in South Carolina. We will see whether that comes to fruition, but Mr. Romney’s prevent defense has allowed Mr. Gingrich to drive to his 30-yard line.

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published this page in In The News 2012-01-20 15:43:00 -0500
Analysis & Political Strategy