The Declining Newt

Posted: Dec 28, 2011 10:19 AM

This primary season has been a chaotic concoction of jumps and slides in polls. The latest fading spark plug appears to be Mr. Gingrich. His surge shocked voters and garnered many bandwagon jumpers -- but, in Iowa at least, his favor is looking to be short-lived.

According to a new poll released by Public Policy Polling, "Newt Gingrich just keeps on sliding. He's gone from 27% to 22% to 14% to 13% over the course of our four Iowa tracking polls. His favorability numbers are pretty abysmal now at 37/54."

The latest in a string of anti-Romneys, Newt's decline has yielded an ironic result: increasing support for Romney. The same poll, though, says that Ron Paul is the current leader in Iowa with 24 percent to Romney's 20 percent.

Many view this as relatively inconsequential, as a second place finish to Paul would still be a boost for Romney.

A recent Politico story cited Rep. Steve King on this matter:

"I think if Romney finishes second and he’s separated from" a third-place finisher, he springboards well into New Hampshire, Rep. Steve King said. But, he added, if he is a distant third to Gingrich or someone else, "I think that does damage him going forward."

But, as Paul and Romney battle it out for first place, Newt's fall is not inconsequential. For those who underestimate the importance of Iowa I have one word: Giuliani.

The Iowa Caucuses take place January 3rd, so Gingrich has limited time to recover. But if the ups and downs of this primary have taught us anything, it's that nothing is predictable.

Written by Mary Crookston