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What Do Voters Prefer: Hubris or Humility? What Do Voters Prefer: Hubris or Humility? What Do Voters Prefer: Hubris or Humility? What Do Voters Prefer: Hu...

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What Do Voters Prefer: Hubris or Humility?

December 2, 2011
Newt Gingrich has a lot of problems, but a healthy ego isn't one of them. "I'm going to be the nominee," the former House Speaker told ABC News. "It's very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I'm going to be the nominee."

In contrast, the candidate who's got the most money and the most consistently high poll numbers, Mitt Romney, always bends over backwards not to be presumptuous. This may come at least in part from his top adviser, Stuart Stevens, who likes to say " "If you don't enter this process humbly, you will leave it humbly."

I remember one campaign event in South Carolina last month where Romney took pains to point out that he might not even make it to the debate at the Reagan library on March 5. Romney responded to Gingrich's recent remarks this way: "Self aggrandizing statements about polls are not going to win elections."

Now Romney is taking humble to a new level with an "Earn it with Mitt'' event on Saturday in New Hampshire, the state where Romney's substantial edge means he can almost (but not quite) afford to take it for granted. The rally with former rival Tim Pawlenty aims to inspire the Romney corps to knock on 5,000 doors, make 12,000 phone calls, and put up 10,000 yard signs.

One reason Romney can't afford to rest easy in New Hampshire? Iowa. He's far from a sure bet in the Jan. 3 caucus, and the momentum of coming out of Iowa in first place can't be underestimated. A strong victory by Gingrich could jeopardize Romney's comfort zone in the New Hampshire primary one week later.  

Where does Rick Perry fall in the hubris v. humility debate? Following his embarrassing meltdown in a nationally televised debate, he's gone to great lengths to poke fun at himself. Check out his latest exercise in self-deprecation here.

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