Here’s yet ANOTHER poll showing Newt Gingrich’s lead over Mitt Romney collapsing — this time via Gallup:
After enjoying 14- to 15-percentage-point leads over Mitt Romney in early December, Newt Gingrich is now statistically tied with Romney in national Republican preferences for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination: 26% for Gingrich vs. 24% for Romney. This follows a steady decline in support for Gingrich in the past 10 days.
No single candidate has benefited proportionately more from Gingrich’s 11-point decline — from 37% to 26% — over the past 10 days. Rather, Gallup polling finds slight increases in support for the six remaining major candidates in the race. Also, the percentage of Republicans favoring none of the candidates or who are unsure has risen by three points, from 14% to 17%.
Twenty-four percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents now favor Romney for the nomination. This is up just slightly from the 22% to 23% level seen for much of the first two weeks of December. Support for Ron Paul is now 11%, up from 8% to 9% earlier in the month — marking the first time his support has been above 10% since mid-September. At that time, a Gallup poll of all Republicans/Republican-leaning independents put his support at 13%.
Current support for Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, at 7% each, Rick Santorum, at 4%, and Jon Huntsman, at 2%, is either one or two percentage points higher than what it was when Gingrich last peaked at 37%.
See my previous posts today on the polls and Gingrich below.
The key thing is:
–The more people see Gingrich, the more they do not like him.That has been his history when he has gone beyond his district — his history as a leader of his party in Congress and nationally as Speaker of the House.
–The more people hear his ideas, the more he chases some voters away.
–Americans are not accepting his contention that he really has been the world’s most highly paid historian, versus a lobbyist or someone who didn’t use the word and exploited his past political ties for financial gain to the people who contributed to the financial crisis.
–Thinking conservatives, some top conservative commentators and publications, and/or those who want Republicans to win in November have been frantically trying to warn their party of the perils of nominating him, just as intensely as comedians have been writing punch lines about a Republican Party playing musical political chairs with an anti-Romney.
–His recent declaration that as President he’d ignore Supreme Court rulings he disagreed with and even arrest judges with whom he disagreed who wouldn’t subject themselves to Congressional hearings he’d call for is likely to be highly alarming to many Americans. This will include many Republicans who’ve studied American history and who may not have his degree but feel they better understand what American history has been all about when it comes to obeying the courts.
–Gingrich’s comments as he has ascended in the polls are virtually telegraphing to Republicans that if he was President he would be highly divisive and controversial — a cataylist for political turmoil and even perhaps a constitutional crisis.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.