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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gingrich and the Public

Newt Gingrich is surging among Republicans, but polls suggest that he is a much tougher sell with the general public.  His problems here have deep roots.  Five years ago, Gallup reported:

Americans' ratings of Gingrich have never been particularly positive. Only once since 1994 have more Americans viewed him favorably than unfavorably -- and that was by a small 29% to 25% margin shortly after the Republicans took control of Congress in the 1994 midterm elections under his leadership. His high favorable rating was just 42% in October 1998. His negatives were above 60% throughout much of 1997.
Republicans are much more positive about Gingrich than are independents or Democrats. In the latest poll, 46% of Republicans view him favorably, compared with 26% of independents and 9% of Democrats. Historically, Gingrich has often had favorable ratings above the 50% level among Republicans, topping out at 61% on several occasions. Democrats have always viewed him negatively, and his favorable ratings among them have typically been below 20%.