The good news for Newt Gingrich – and if you’re a loyal backer of the former House Speaker, don’t get too excited, but here it is: Gingrich continues to lead the Republican presidential field in the national polls.
The bad news: His campaign appears to be cratering in Iowa and New Hampshire, the homes of the first two nomination contests on the 2012 election schedule.
Public Policy Polling has Gingrich comfortably ahead of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul in its national polling – with Gingrich at 35 percent, Romney at 22 percent and Paul at 11 percent. Even in that poll, there was better news for Romney, long considered the almost-frontrunner in the GOP field whose main problem has been his ability to get Republican voters to embrace him. They may finally be warming up to the former Massachusetts governor, with this week’s PPP poll showing that 55 percent of Republican voters view Romney favorably, and that Romney is the top second choice of current Gingrich supporters.
Back to Gingrich: Frontunner nationally or not, he’s now running a distant third in Iowa, where Ron Paul is currently the leader in the polls at 23 percent, with Romney at 20 percent and Gingrich at 14 percent. Just two weeks ago, Gingrich was at 27 percent in PPP polling, and had a +31 net favorability rating there (62 percent favorable/31 percent unfavorable). Gingrich now has a -1 net favorability rating in Iowa – 46 percent favorable/47 percent unfavorable).
And in New Hampshire, it’s all Romney – with Romney at 35 percent to 19 percent for Paul and 17 percent for Gingrich.