Debate, polls leave Gingrich in trouble

Newt's in trouble (AP)

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came out of the last GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses bruised and battered but still standing.

But the beating he took at the hands of Republican rivals Thursday night, coupled with signs of slippage in polls, suggests the current GOP frontrunner has peaked and now starts the downhill slide that has marked the rise and fall of others who held court at the top of the crowded pack of candidates.

The first hour of the Fox News debate proved particularly tough for Gingrich as opponents battered him for fat cat contracts with Freddie Mac, ethical lapses during his political career and a long history of multiple marriages and extra-marital affairs.

He rebounded some in the second hour but viewers of the debate probably came away with more questions about the man currently at the top of the GOP heap.

Gingrich took a pounding from Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul and he sought once again to cast himself as a national celebrity on the world stage — a strange defense that might not play well with his target audiences.

The debate beating, however, is just a postscript to Gingrich’s problem in the polls.  Rasmussen’s Poll this week shows the former frontrunner now trailing Mitt Romney by three percent while a Public Policy survey puts him in a statistical dead heat with Ron Paul.

Gingrich has slipped four points in the RealClearPolitics roundup of polls.  Gingrich’s favorability among GOP voters has dropped 20 points in the past week.

“The slide has started,” a worried Gingrich strategist tells Capitol Hill Blue.  “In this election year, once a Republican frontrunner has started to slide, it’s over.”

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4 Responses to "Debate, polls leave Gingrich in trouble"

  1. Carl Nemo **==  December 16, 2011 at 8:16 am

    “The slide has started,” a worried Gingrich strategist tells Capitol Hill Blue. “In this election year, once a Republican frontrunner has started to slide, it’s over.” …extract from article

    As far as myself and no doubt other informed voters are concerned Gingrich needs to take a Christmas sleigh ride to hell. He can’t fade fast enough in order to get his ugly, slick-talking mug off our television screens and monitors.

    Carl Nemo **==

    • levotb  December 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      Capt. Nemo and Sandune are right. Gingrich is “a scourge” on the GOP. He and Romney cannot possibly beat Soetoro-Obama as they can’t get law and order Conservative support and I’m not referring only to some Tea Partiers. There is only one law-and-order candidate and that’s Bachmann. Sadly, Sheriff Joe endorsed Perry, as truly stupid move on his part. Perry is “Mr. Open Borders” and is pro-Amnesty. Anyway, Gingrich is on the way out.

  2. Sandune  December 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    It is men like Gingrich that give all Christians a really bad name. I can’t think of anyone who did as much damage to the GOP over the years. The consequences of his out-of-control mouth including the anger and hatred that he spouted over the years turned many old-timer Republicans away from the party itself. He set the tone for Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and made the elections nasty, rude and immoral contests. I never remember the hatred being so in-your-face before Gingrich took over as the leader. He brought the language from the street into every-one’s living room. Republican leaders always had good manners and kept the dialog out of the back alleys. Today they represent some segment of the culture that is embarrassing. One look at the tea party with their slovenly attitudes and dirty feet feet is like watching a play written by Steinbeck.

  3. Gregg  December 19, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Oh durn! Like Perry’s wild ego – and Newts bigger ego, obviously ego can get one in trouble.

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