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Gingrich leads GOP contenders, but can’t beat Obama

By CAPITOL HILL BLUE Staff Reports
December 14, 2011

Newt Gingrich

Good news for Newt Gingrich: The former Speaker of the House holds a solid 10 point lead among candidates for the GOP Presidential nomination for President, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll.

Bad news for Republicans: If Gingrich gets the nod, he’s not the Republican to beat President Barack Obama in 2012.

The poll shows while Gingrich leads former frontrunner Mitt Romney in the race for the nomination, he trails the former Massachussets governor in a head-to-head matchup against Obama.

If the election were held today, Obama would beat Gingrich 51-38 percent.  Romney would also lose to Obama but the margin would be closer: 48-40 percent.

“Only Romney drags Obama below 50 percent,” a top GOP political consultant tells Capitol Hill Blue. “That is significant if Republicans are serious about denying Obama a second term.”

“This is the Republican delimma,” Southern Methodist Unviersity political science professor Calvin Jillson tells Reuters. ” ‘Do I want to enjoy myself by voting for Gingrich…or do I want to look toward the general election and see a winnable contest?”

The poll puts Gingrich at 28 percent among likely GOP voters, Romney at 18, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Congressman Ron Paul at 12 percent,  Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann at 10, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 5 and former Pennsylvania Rick Santorum at 4.

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One Response to Gingrich leads GOP contenders, but can’t beat Obama

  1. Danny Adams

    December 15, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    And yet I think the perception that he can win against Obama is the reason he’s doing so well in the Republican-only polls. More specifically, Gingrich is perceived to have been the one who stymied Bill Clinton, a much more effective president than Obama, so Republicans now assume he’d have the same result against Obama in the election.