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Newt Gingrich
Newt. (Eric Thayer/Reuters)
Gallup now has Newt Gingrich doing as well against President Barack Obama as Mitt Romney. Yet he still would be the best general election candidate to run against, by far. Why? Take a look at these numbers:
CBS News/NYT, 1/12-17

Newt Gingrich: Fav 17, Unfav 49
Mitt Romney: Fav 21, Unfav 35
Barack Obama: Fav 38, Unfav 45

Fox News, 1/12-14

Newt Gingrich: Fav 27, Unfav 56
Mitt Romney: Fav 45, Unfav 38
Barack Obama: Fav 51, Unfav 46

CNN, 1/11-12

Newt Gingrich: Fav 28, Unfav 58
Mitt Romney: Fav 43, Unfav 42
Barack Obama: Fav 49, Unfav 49

Newt's brutal numbers means he has little, if any, upside. That 48 percent nationally Gallup gave him today (against Obama's 50) is likely his ceiling, while Romney's 48 percent still has room to grow, particularly against a president with mediocre public ratings.

Conservatives have convinced themselves that Newt will be the better nominee because he'll crush Obama in debates. In fact, Newt is fueling this fantasy by claiming he'll demand seven three-hour Lincoln-Douglas-style debates with Obama.

But bottom line, people don't like Newt, and there's nothing about him that will make him more likable. He's a pompous arrogant blowhard, profoundly un-photogenic, and full of self-styled "grandiose" ideas like re-allowing child labor. The GOP establishment is freaking out, and with good reason.

Gingrich will cost Republicans the House and maybe the Senate. They know it, they fear it, and as of right now, they're trying to figure out if there's anything they can do about it.

Originally posted to kos on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM PST.

Also republished by Kos Georgia and Daily Kos.

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