Skip to comments.Why Gingrich tanked (What happened to his surge?)
Posted on 01/07/2012 2:20:03 PM PST by SeekAndFind
NASHUA, NH -- Just as in Iowa, Newt Gingrich's popularity has plunged here in New Hampshire. The former House speaker, who hit 24 percent in a Rasmussen survey in late November, is languishing at eight percent in the latest Rasmussen Granite State poll.
In the next primary state, South Carolina, Gingrich hit 42 percent in an NBC News poll in early December. Now, he is at 18 percent in a new Rasmussen survey.
The conventional wisdom holds that Gingrich fell as a result of highly effective attack ads aired in Iowa by rival Ron Paul and a super PAC working on behalf of Mitt Romney. Certainly those ads, which focused on issues like Gingrich's paid work for Freddie Mac and his global-warming partnership with Nancy Pelosi, did some damage. But talks with voters here in New Hampshire and with politicos in South Carolina suggest the ads are not what killed Gingrich. It was Gingrich's reaction to the ads.
Voters who once supported Gingrich but have now turned away from him say that his hot-tempered response to the ads, rather than the ads themselves, simply turned them off. "He's got a temper," said one Tea Party member at a Nashua coffeehouse Saturday morning. "I don't want a guy with a temper with his finger on the button." Other voters said Gingrich's ill-tempered complaints about the ads distracted them from the former speaker's message about jobs, the economy, and American renewal.
In South Carolina, Gingrich's decision to call Romney a liar did not sit well with many Republicans, including those who don't support Romney. "I think people saw him calling Romney a liar as just un-presidential," says one well-connected South Carolina political figure. "It just looked unpresidential."
As a political tactic, the brilliance of the Paul and Romney ads was that they provoked Gingrich to anger -- and into hurting himself. That allowed Romney supporters to follow up by accusing Gingrich of being in a state of perpetual anger, and therefore unfit for the presidency. "He's always angry," former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, a Romney supporter, said Friday. "There's nothing new about that This is the old Gingrich. There was a new Gingrich for about 11 microseconds, and now you're back to the old Gingrich."
Gingrich has also been hurt by a long gap between Republican debates. Gingrich rose to prominence in the GOP race because of his consistently impressive performances in debates -- and by his decision to focus his attacks on Barack Obama and not on his fellow candidates. But until Saturday night's face-off in Manchester, there has not been a debate since the Fox News session in Sioux City, Iowa on December 15. That's a long time for a candidate to go without being able to showcase his strength. During that time, Gingrich has fallen steadily in the polls.
Voters here and in South Carolina still have great respect for Gingrich and what he has accomplished in his career; no rival can match him. And voters wish some other candidate had Gingrich's debating talent; one Tea Party member said he would like to see a candidate with Romney's business acumen, Gingrich's debating skills, and Rick Santorum's integrity. But for many voters, in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and across the country, temperament is a threshold issue. If a voter determines that a candidate is too hot-headed, or in some way does not possess the proper temperament to be president, it ultimately doesn't matter what else that candidate does; he won't win the voter's support. And that is what has happened to Gingrich in the aftermath of the Iowa attack ads.
And as soon as Romney is alone at the top, then the long knives will come out for him.
He’d be a great running mate, smart, experienced, older (like Cheney).
Have a great rest of the weekend, all!
The media pushed Gingrich as the only alternative to Romney, and people rejected that. In reality, Gingrich wasn’t the conservative he was portrayed to be. Earlier this year, people he acknowledged his numerous drawbacks.
Yep. Exactly. And I’ve been saying it for months... Conservatives have a problem with EVERY candidate in the field. The most consistantly conservative was Bachmann (and Palin but she never dove in).
We couldnt nominate Perry because he has poor debate skills and is soft on immigration. We can’t nominate Newt because he’s too liberal on global warming. We can’t nominate Ron Paul because he’s a kook with foreign policy. We can’t nominate Cain because he cheats on his wife and is inexperienced. We can’t nominate Santorum because he voted constantly for earmarks and bigger government. We can’t vote for Romney because he flip flops on abortion and supports Romneycare/Obamacare.
I understand conservatives are angry at this field. But the reality is that none of these guys are perfect. We are not going to have a perfect candidate. We are going to have to punt on an issue somewhere.
It’s the continuing game of musical Republicans, up and down, and spin them all around while Romney plays with his media pals.
That coupled with his baggage - personal and political - plan for amnesty (that he claims isn't amnesty) and other things sunk Newt.
Yeah, Gingrich is a passionate guy...
“In South Carolina, Gingrich’s decision to call Romney a liar did not sit well with many Republicans, including those who don’t support Romney. “I think people saw him calling Romney a liar as just un-presidential,” says one well-connected South Carolina political figure. “It just looked unpresidential.””
Then South Carolinans are p*ssys.
So true, and they are right here on FR trying to paint a negative light, cause discord and disruption.
We need to pray then Keep speaking the truth and fight the fight.
Virginia: (Super-Tuesday/only Romney + Paul on ballot)
Gingrich 41%, Romney 15, Perry 8, Paul 6, Santorum 6
Georgia: (primary Super-Tuesday Mar 6)
Gingrich 65%, Romney 12, Perry 4, Santorum 1
California: (primary June 5)
Gingrich 33%, Romney 25, Paul 9, Perry 4, Santorum 4
Pennsylvania (Santorum's home state!):
Gingrich 32%, Romney 12, Santorum 12, Paul 9 (PPP)
Gingrich 31%, Romney 17, Santorum 9, (Quinnipac)
Florida: (primary Jan 31)
Romney 27%, Gingrich 26% (statistical dead-heat)
Colorado: (caucus Feb 7)
Gingrich 37%, Romney 12, Santorum 12, Paul 9
yep, they are mixing blatent falsehoods in with some truths to try and sink Gingrich.
It’s true that Gingrich shouldn’t have been so whiney about the attacks.
But it’s patently false to say Gingrich shouldn’t have fought back. Nothing could be further from the truth, Gingrich lost because he DIDN’T fight back, not because he did.
Fox News went negative on Newt the instant his numbers went ahead of Romney’s. Before Romney ads. I’ve never seen such hyperventillating by FNC against anyone on our side of the aisle.
I still want to know what “baggage” people keep talking about with NEWT?
Does he have any more baggage thn Romney...NO
Does he have more baggage then OBAMA....NO
Does he have a lot more “conservative accomplishments” than all of the field....almost certainly so..
Thats not what happened in South Carolina...
In fact, Romney is a liar so Newt being accurate about that did not turn SC people away. In fact, I believe Newt is still the preferred choice of people in SC.
Your say right.
They do have the least amount of charm and
Palin has it which makes The Dems scared
My brother’s right, for both the Republican and Democrat political elite this is just another Super Bowl. They just play the game and don’t give a thought to the danger this country is in. They’ll destroy anyone they don’t want and they’ll pull out all the stops for their guy.
I don’t know where you are getting your SC polling numbers but the only polls that were done there this year is CNN and Rasmussen yesterday and they read as follows”
Mittens 27 37
Santorum 24 19
Gingrich 18 18
Paul 11 12
Perry 5 5
Gingrich has been damaged here and it appears it wasn’t the ads that did it but rather his response to them.