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Friday, June 10, 2011

Newt Gingrich Campaign Already in Trouble Before Staff Resignations

At least 16 members of Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign's entire staff have resigned en masse over campaign differences. This has caused campaign observers to opine that Gingrich’s probability of gaining the GOP nomination is low. The former Speaker of the House and Tulane Ph.D. says that he will continue to campaign nevertheless. The less-than-rosy news for Gingrich is that even before this latest incident, Gallup tracking showed his was showing every sign of being in big trouble.

Take a look at this graph of Gingrich’s Positive Intensity Score among Republicans:


At times earlier this year, Gingrich’s Positive Intensity Score was 19, on par with other well-known potential candidates.

Now, it’s plummeted to 4, barely above the bottom-ranked score of 2 for Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico. Among all of the 84% of Republicans who know Gingrich, 10% say they have a strongly favorable view of him, while 6% say they have a strongly unfavorable view. That’s what gives him the Positive Intensity Score of +4.

More broadly, 33% of Republicans who recognize Gingrich have a generally unfavorable view of him. That’s the highest unfavorable percentage of any candidate, slightly above Sarah Palin’s 29% (and Gary Johnson’s 30%, although Johnson’s is on a small base since only 17% of Republicans recognize him).

Prior to the announcement that most of his campaign staff was deserting him, Gingrich had endured negative press coverage of his characterizations of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposals to reform Medicare, and of the revelations on his wife’s financial disclosure forms of a large revolving chart accounts at Tiffany’s.

We’ll have data on Gingrich from new polling on both Monday and Tuesday of this coming week.

Meanwhile, the current discussion du jour centers on whether or not Texas Gov. Rick Perry -- a Texas A&M graduate, former farmer, and former Air Force pilot -- will jump into the GOP race. Perry has been governor of Texas for over 10 years, the longest such tenure in the Lone Star State’s history. We have no national measure of Perry at this point, although we may soon begin to get read on how well known he is.

At this point, the world also awaits decisions by Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann on whether or not they will join the presidential race. If Palin decides not to, that removes one more well-known candidate from the list, leaving Mitt Romney,Gingrich, and Ron Paul as the only candidates recognized by three-quarters of Republican rank and file party members across the nation.

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