Several new polls suggest that Republican support for Newt Gingrich in Iowa is declining. Public Policy Polling says Ron Paul has cut Newt’s lead to just one point 22% to 21% with Romney at 16% and Bachmann at 11%. Gingrich’s favorability rating has declined 19 points in just one week according to the poll while Paul’s favorability rating has grown. Could it be the more Republicans actually learn about Newt, the less they like him? American Research Group has found a similar slippage of Gingrich support in New Hampshire.
Newt also seems to do much worse against Obama than Romney. An NBC Wall Street Journal poll just out indicates that Obama would beat Gingrich 51% to 40% but barely beat Romney (47% Obama to 45% Romney).
MSNBC attributed Newt’s favorability ratings as contributing to both his lead among Republicans and his problem in a head-to-head general election contest with Obama.
Gingrich enjoys strong numbers among Republicans (46 percent positive vs. 21 percent negative), conservatives (42 percent positive vs. 23 percent negative) and Tea Party supporters (54 percent positive vs. 16 percent negative). In fact, they are higher than Romney’s numbers among these same three key Republican groups.”
But that’s as far as the Gingrich appeal goes, according to the data. “Gingrich struggles with other important voting blocs — like women (20 percent positive vs. 38 percent negative), independents (16 percent positive vs. 40 percent negative) and suburban residents (25 percent positive vs. 41 percent negative),” MSNBC continued. “By comparison, Romney fares better among women (22 percent positive vs. 31 percent negative), independents (21 percent positive vs. 29 percent negative) and suburban dwellers (29 percent positive vs. 30 percent negative).”
In all these cases Romney has a much larger set of “neutral” respondents than Gingrich, meaning his job would be to sway their feelings from apathetic to positive rather than from negative to positive.
Most analysts have expected Newt's candidacy to go into a nosedive due to some major gaff. Could it be that his decline will happen--indeed is beginning to happen--not for any specific thing he has said or done but the for the very simple reason that Newt is Newt and people just had to be reminded once again why he was one of the least admired politicians in the country back in the late 1990s?
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