In what may be a bad sign ultimately for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich has overtaken Barack Obama in a hypothetical poll for the 2012 General Election. Newt 45, Obama 43 is the Rasmussen headline.
Certainly this is bad news for Barack Obama. Gingrich has a great deal of distance to cover in order to win over moderates and and establishment Republicans without losing the Social Conservative base. He has already been attacked by watchdog/attack dog Michele Bachmann for not being conservative enough on illegal immigration. Mitt Romney is trying to portray Newt as a Washington insider, and liberals like Bruce Bartlett and Paul Krugman are trying to feed a new portrayal of Newt as someone who only sounds smarter than them. Even Mark Steyn got in on the action while filling in for Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday, saying essentially that Newt only sounds smart because he uses big words. Yet Newt has accomplished something other flavor of the week Social Conservatives haven’t with this poll. Falling to Newt this early in a national poll is very bad news for Obama.
So why might it be worse news for Romney? How about some de ja vu. Click here for a 2008 New Hampshire poll that might remind you of how the 2008 primary went down. Romney had been the clear choice until polls started showing McCain as being the best candidate to beat Hillary Clinton. Up until now, Romney has consistently been the best candidate to beat Obama in 2012.
Let’s be honest. The number one concern of most Republicans when determining who to vote for in this primary is who can beat Barack Obama. Even though any of the candidates running should be able to beat Obama, many Republicans are basing their vote on that one key: electability. If Newt continues to beat Obama in the polls, Romney could find himself watching the November results from home for the second time in a row.
Filed under: Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Polls, State & National Polls, Strategy Tagged: | 2008, 2012, bachmann, Barack Obama, bruce bartlett, electability, mark steyn, McCain, mccain versus romney, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, New Hampshire, newt, newt beats obama, Newt Gingrich, newt versus obama, obama, Paul Krugman, poll, rasmussen, Romney, rush, rush limbaugh, social-conservative