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Is Newt as Electable as Mitt?

10:18 AM, Nov 21, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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A new poll suggests Newt Gingrich may be closing the electabilty gap with voters in key swing states. According to Purple Poll, Gingrich is just two points behind President Barack Obama in a head to head match-up. The poll, which surveys likely voters in 12 swing states, found that Obama earned 46 percent support compared to Gingrich's 44 percent, with 10 percent "not sure."

Similarly, Mitt Romney ties Obama in a hypothetical face-off at 45 percent. Considering the 2.6 percent margin of error, Gingrich and Romney roughly perform the same against the president. Gingrich, however, registers slightly higher unfavorable ratings than his GOP rival (48 percent for Gingrich, 45 percent for Romney).

In his editorial this week, the boss examines the rise of Gingrich and his likelihood of winning the nomination and the general election:

Gingrich may not follow the Bachmann-Perry-Cain trajectory of rapid rise and rapid fall. He is a far more experienced national politician than they. He’s a familiar figure. It’s not as if, like Bachmann, he’s making a favorable first impression that will then be qualified, or, like Perry, that the idea of the candidate will be very different from the reality, or that, like Herman Cain, he seems a breath of fresh air. Voters who have warmed to Gingrich in the last few months could still have second thoughts, and his rise may stall and reverse. It will indeed be surprising if he doesn’t now hit some bumps in the road. But he could be formidable....

...Romney defeats President Obama in the latest Fox poll, 44-42, while Gingrich trails, 46-41. That will be an important point in Romney’s favor among GOP primary voters eager to defeat the president. Can Gingrich come close to evening the poll results in the Obama matchup? That’s something to watch for.

The poll has a 2.6 percent margin of error and surveyed 1,436 likely voters from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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