If Newt Gingrich is looking for a solid show of support for his Presidential bid he won't find it in his home state of Georgia. Just 39% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of him, to 47% with a negative one. Only 31% think he should seek the White House next year, to 50% who say he shouldn't run. And if he somehow snagged the Republican nomination there's a very decent chance he wouldn't even win the state against Barack Obama in the general election- we find the race basically tied with Obama leading Gingrich by the slimmest of margins at 46/45.
Obama looks like a pretty viable contender in the state next year regardless of who his Republican opponent is. 47% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 48% that disapprove. Those numbers suggest Georgia is probably the state Obama lost in 2008 that he has the best chance of flipping for 2012 because in the two states that he came closer to winning last time around- Missouri and Montana- his approval numbers are far worse at 43/52 and 41/54 respectively.
In addition to his lead over Gingrich Obama also has an advantage over Georgia's other home grown candidate, Herman Cain, at 44-39 and over Sarah Palin at 48-43. He trails both Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney by three points at 48-45 and 46-43 respectively, but even those deficits represent an improvement from his 5 point loss in the state in 2008.
Georgia's yet another generally Republican leaning state where voters are just not responding very positively to the leading names in the GOP Presidential picture. Only Huckabee has more voters in the state with a positive impression of him than a negative one at 48/33. In addition to Gingrich's negative numbers Romney comes down at 37/41, Cain at 28/36, and Palin at 35/56.
Even if Obama doesn't end up winning in Georgia next year the vast differences in his support along age lines suggest Democrats should be competitive in the state in the years to come. Among voters under 65 Obama's approval rating is a 52/42 spread. It's only his horrid numbers with senior citizens at 27/68 that put his numbers in negative territory overall. As whites who grew up in the segregation era die out over the next decade or two this state should start looking a lot 'purpler' than its red tinge in recent election cycles would suggest.
As for Newt, Obama can only hope to be able to run against someone who would struggle to win his own home state.
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