Q: Do you think Mitt Romney would defeat Barack Obama if he was the Republican Presidential candidate next year?
Q:Do you think Newt Gingrich would defeat Barack Obama if he was the Republican Presidential candidate next year?
Republicans, however, feel very differently—both in terms of whether they can actually beat Obama, and in terms of who is best able to do so. Sixty percent of Democrats say Romney wouldn't beat the president, while only 48 percent of Republicans say he would. The two parties are even more divided about Gingrich, with 70 percent of Democrats saying he'd lose while 54 percent of Republicans think he'd win.
It's that final number that really stands out to me. The perceived electability gap among Republicans between Romney and Gingrich is a net eight points in Gingrich's favor. That's certainly smaller than Romney's 14-point edge among Democrats, but it's still notable. If Republicans think Gingrich is better positioned to beat Obama, then it only fits that they prefer him as their nominee, as almost every recent poll has shown.
And for once, Democrats and Republicans agree, in the results if not the rationale: They think Gingrich is more beatable, so undoubtedly they'd rather see him as the GOP nominee as well. It may just happen that both parties will get their wish.