Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gingrich prospects look dim

Newt Gingrich's prospects for winning the Presidency have never looked great but as he officially announces his bid today they look worse even than they did at the beginning of the year. His prospects for winning both the nomination and the general election have taken a turn in the wrong direction. Although not to quite as extreme a degree Gingrich is dealing to some extent with the same problem as Donald Trump- the more voters see of him the less they like him.

First a look at his standing with Republican voters. In January his national favorability with them was a +34 spread at 58/24. Over the first few months of this year those numbers have seen a 10 point shift in the wrong direction to +24 at 54/30. That downward trend is backed up in five different states where we did a Republican primary poll in January and then another one in the last month- his net favorability has dropped a minimum of 3 points in each of those and in one case it's dropped by 23. Here's the full data:


January Favorability

April Favorability



59/22 (+37)

47/33 (+14)



53/27 (+26)

47/26 (+21)



53/24 (+29)

49/25 (+24)



63/20 (+43)

61/21 (+40)


West Virginia

60/19 (+41)

57/20 (+37)


All that is not to say that Gingrich has no chance at the nomination. It's quite possible that this will eventually end up being a two way race between Mitt Romney and a more conservative alternative and if Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin don't end up running then Gingrich is probably the early favorite to end up being that conservative alternative. If one of them does run, especially Huckabee with his appeal throughout the South, then Gingrich probably has no shot.

Still even if neither of them run we also see from these numbers that Republicans aren't exactly warming up to Gingrich as they get more exposure to him, so he could easily be supplanted from that 'conservative alternative' spot if someone else starts setting the world on fire and showing more appeal to voters.

Winning the primary also might prove to be a Pyrrhic victory for Gingrich. National polling we'll release today finds him down by 14 points to Barack Obama at 52-38, a deficit that would give Democrats their biggest victory in a Presidential race since Barry Goldwater's ill fated bid in 1964. And our state polling has found Obama ahead of Gingrich in states like Missouri, Georgia, and Arizona that Democrats have not won since the 90s, so there's an entirely decent chance that a Gingrich nomination could get Obama up over the 400 electoral vote mark.

It would certainly be an epic comeback if Gingrich got elected President...but it's hard to see him working his way back from these kinds of numbers.


Bob said...

If he's losing to Obama in Georgia, (or even winning in the single digits) then that pretty much tells you how little of chance he has at winning.

Todd Dugdale said...

To the seniors who comprise so much of the Republican Party's base, 1994 was virtually last week. To a 30 year-old, however, Gingrich's "glory days" were back when the voter was 13.

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