Let’s play a game. Here are three politicians and their favorability ratings:
Politician A: 35% favorable, 54% unfavorable
Politician B: 29% favorable, 39% unfavorable
Politician C: 26% favorable, 60% unfavorable
Do you have your answer? Well then, who are these beloved politicians?
Politican A: Nancy Pelosi
Politican B: Harry Reid
Politician C: Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich has favorability ratings that are significantly worse than both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Do you think nominating either one of those people for President would be a good idea for democrats?
As we talk about the primary, I’m amazed to hear people argue that the reason to vote for Newt Gingrich is because he can beat Obama. I don’t understand people who vote like that. I’d rather vote for who I think would be the best president and let the chips fall where they may, but that’s just me.
However, if you ARE going to vote on electability—there is simply no evidence whatsoever to support that Newt Gingrich is the best person to fit that bill. Why? Well, people just don’t like Newt Gingrich. They know him, they remember him, and they don’t like him.
Jim Geraghty points us to the latest favorability polling:
Fox News, 1/12-1/14:
Historians, go to work. Show me one time in modern history that a major party has nominated someone this unpopular. There might be a couple of examples, but to my recollection, it’s completely unheard of.
Newt’s defenders would say that “this is an election—not a likability contest.” True. So, who would win in an ELECTION against the President? Luckily, we have plenty of polling on that exact topic. Each set of numbers is a different poll, showing the candidates’ level of competitiveness against President Obama.
CBS/NYT (all numbers are VS OBAMA):
As you can see, Newt Gingrich finishes in dead last in ALL of these polls among the remaining candidates. Dead last. He is Nancy Pelosi.
Obviously, polls change. Do I think it would be impossible for Newt to win? No. Not impossible, just more difficult than every other option available.
To me, this is how the race shakes out:
If you want the most libertarian, vote Paul.
If you want the most conservative, vote Santorum.
If you want the most electable, vote Romney.
Where exactly does Newt fit in?