The latest PPP survey shows that Newt Gingrich’s recent gains haven’t just been among Republicans. Last month, PPP showed Gingrich faring 11 points worse than Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama, but this month that gap has closed to just 3 points. Last month, Romney was tied with Obama (at 45 percent apiece), and Gingrich trailed Obama by 11 points (50 to 39 percent). This month, Romney trails Obama by 3 points (46 to 43 percent), while Gingrich trails Obama by 6 points (49 to 43 percent). (Ron Paul also trails Obama by 6 points, Herman Cain trails by 7, Rick Perry trails by 10, and Michele Bachmann trails by 11.)
The survey by PPP (a Democratic poll) is skewed somewhat Democratic, as its respondents included 41 percent Democrats and only 36 percent Republicans. Last November, equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans turned out to vote.
According to PPP, Gingrich’s net favorability rating also improved more than anyone else’s in the GOP field. Gingrich’s net favorability rating is up 15 points, from -26 percent (30 percent “favorable” to 56 percent “unfavorable”) in October, to -11 percent (39 to 50 percent) as of this week. To be sure, -11 leaves plenty of room for improvement — and it trails Obama’s net approval rating of -6 percent (which also leaves plenty of room for improvement) — but it’s actually the highest net favorability rating of anyone in the GOP field. Romney has the 2nd-highest net favorability rating, at -14 percent (36 “favorable” to 50 percent “unfavorable”).
After Gingrich, Michele Bachmann’s net favorability rating has improved the most since last month — climbing 7 points, to -22 percent (30 “favorable” to 52 percent “unfavorable”) — while Ron Paul’s has improved 4 points, to -30 percent (26 to 56 percent). The other GOP candidates’ net favorability ratings have all declined since last month — Romney’s by 8 points; Perry’s by 15 points, to -49 percent (18 to 67 percent); and Cain’s by 18 points, to -17 percent (36 to 53 percent). (Tallies were not provided for Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, or Gary Johnson.)