Before the caucus began I made the prediction:
And I was pretty close with only Santorum and Paul's places switched by 3% points. (I also called that Perry would drop out, which by retreating to Texas he pretty much did)
There were about 30-40 guys at this lunch and we took an informal poll of who was supporting who. Almost everyone raised their hands for Romney. There were a couple guys for Gingrich and but none of the other candidates had any supporters among the Hong Kong Republicans.
There seems to be a consensus that people living overseas have a wider perspective and are less parochial on many issues. Romney's fiscal and personal discipline appeal to a number of us. He's viewed as solid as opposed to "flaky." And more importantly, he is seen as someone who can appeal across a broader audience of voters in a general election. Essentially, he is the best chance of beating Obama.
So, why am I not supporting the other remaining candidates:
Santorum: I think this Santorum is a genuinely nice guy who projects an authenticity that is appealing. Having said that, I don't think "he is ready for prime time." He is to undisciplined in his campaigning and he comes with baggage of a major senate loss in 2006 as well the feeling he is the last choice of a number of failed "conservative" options in this election.
Gingrich: He's an ideas man and sometimes he gets things right, but really doesn't know how to behave in critical situations. He will always "go off the rails" at some point as that is who he is and what is in his nature to do. Most people realized this as well and after a momentary surge in the polls, he finds his support base vanishing.
Paul: Ron Paul has some interesting domestic spending ideas but its his foreign policy that will keep him from EVER being President of the United States. We have spent the last 70 years building relationships that allow the projection of American power across the globe. He'd like to call that quits, bring home our carrier fleets, our troops in Japan and South Korea, and just hunker down around the homeland. Yes, with the tension in the South China Sea rising NOW would be a perfect time to mothball the navy...Not!
One of the Gingrich supporters at the Whiskey Priest (can you tell I just love mentioning that name again) yesterday did indicate his support for Gingrich stemmed from his inability to back Romney because of his Mormon faith. I must admit I had read about such people...but I had never actually met one before.
See, Hong Kong is a place where one meets all kinds of different folk.