America Hates Newt

Newt Gingrich has amazingly high unfavorables.

Under the headline “America hates Newt Gingrich,” The Examiner’s Conn Carroll takes a look at the favorable/unfavorable numbers of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich:

Fox News, 1/12-1/14:
Obama, fav/unfav, 51%/46%, +5
Romney, fav/unfav, 45%/38%, +7
Gingrich, fav/unfav, 27%/56%, -29

CBS/NYT, 1/12-1/17:
Obama, fav/unfav, 38%/45%, -7
Romney, fav/unfav, 21%/35%, -14
Gingrich, fav/unfav, 17%/49%, -32

PPP, 1/13-1/17:
Obama, app/dis, 47%/50%, -3
Romney, fav/unfav, 35%/53%, -18
Gingrich, fav/unfav, 26%/60%, -34

He concludes, “America does not love Romney, but boy do they hate Newt.”

The fact that Gingrich is not viewed favorably by most Americans doesn’t surprise me. It’s why I never expected him to actually run for president, much less emerge as the last remaining alternative to Romney.

What’s actually more interesting here is the wide disparity between the results of the three surveys, all taken at essentially the same time. Obama’s favorables range from 38 to 51? Romney’s from 21 to 45? That doesn’t exactly make me confident in the usefulness of these numbers.

The Fox poll was conducted by telephone with 906 registered voters. CBS/NYT is a hodgepodge of 1154 voters, 1021 of whom are registered, 430 Republican primary voters, 367 Democratic primary voters, and 302 registered Republicans; presumably, it was also a telephone survey. PPP “surveyed 700 American voters” using “automated telephone interviews.” So, they’re all somewhat different in terms of methodology.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Fiona says:

    It’s interesting that the numbers for Romney and Obama vary so much across the three polls, yet Gingrich’s are relatively consistent. He’s about as well-liked as Palin and repeated exposure to him is likely to make him even more unlikeable except to his die-hard fans like Chuck Norris.

  2. PJ says:

    @James Joyner:

    What’s actually more interesting here is the wide disparity between the results of the three surveys, all taken at essentially the same time. Obama’s favorables range from 38 to 51? Romney’s from 21 to 45? That doesn’t exactly make me confident in the usefulness of these numbers.

    Nate Silver had a post on favorability ratings yesterday and this paragraph gives an explanation and a recommendation:

    Favorability ratings are a tricky thing, however. They can vary a lot from polling firm to polling firm based on factors like question wording, whether the poll is conducted by automated script or by live interviewing, and so forth. So to get a good read on them, you either want to average a lot of different polls together or you want to check out the trendlines within individual polls.

  3. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Newt = Palin and Palin = Newt.

  4. PJ says:

    To put this simple.

    You reap what you sow.

    The chickens are coming home to roost.

    etc.

  5. Eric Florack says:
  6. PJ says:

    @Eric Florack: America still hates Newt. Republicans on the other hand….

  7. Eric Florack says:

    See, there’s the problem you have… you’ve misidentified the situation, on two levels.

    First, as has been discussed here… most Americans identify themselves as conservative.

    Secondly, the exit polls are showing even the majority of independents went for Gingrich.

    Any questions, class?

  8. An Interested Party says:

    Any questions, class?

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…yes, please push the totally ridiculous idea that Newt Gingrich could actually beat the President in November…

  9. Eric Florack says:

    Well, let’s ask the actual voters, shall we?

    Says the New York Times on the point:

    Focus on Electability
    Mr. Gingrich has spent most of the last 10 days arguing that he will offer the best contrast with President Obama — and be best able to beat him — in the fall.

    South Carolina voters appear to agree.

    Of those who think beating Mr. Obama is the most important candidate quality, Mr. Gingrich wins nearly half of the votes, the most of any of the Republican candidates.

    ]If you’d care for the raw data, here you are.

  10. An Interested Party says:

    Republican Primary voters in South Carolina are not the same thing as all the voters throughout the nation who will come to the polls on November 6th, 2012…you do realize that, right? On second thought, maybe you don’t…

  11. deathcar2000 says:

    Amoment to respond to Eric. . .

    Riddle me this Batman; If we were to take the claim “most Americans identify themselves as conservative” at face value, why oh great thinker of the ages does a “Communist jihadist anti Americain Mooooooooslin” win the 2008 election of this here Great Republic?

    hmmmm.

    Well it might be that a portion of the public may or may not understand what the term Conservative or conservative actualy entail. Well lets just take at face value that it is true, but then we stumble intothe age old :No true Scotsman trap. How could a (C)conservative vote for Obama/Clinton/Carter/McCain/Romney? well no “true” (C)conservative ever would!! It seems then the number of Conservertives tends to dwindle down to a much smaller number, much, much smaller number.

    My granny identfies as conserative Irish Catholic, big Union supporter and only stray’d off the ‘ol Democrat farm once to vote for Ike. Wouldn’t stop talkin about how she suspected G.W. Bush was retarded(her word not mine, she was from a different time and such). But not what i’d call Newt’s or the Republican party base.

    But I guess the meaning of (C)conservative is allways ashiftin and achangin.

    all the “Real Conservatives(tm)” are hangin out at FreeRepublic anyways, they told me so.

  12. James Joyner says:

    @Eric Florack: I’m not sure why you think South Carolina Republican primary voters voting the way the polls predicted they would days before the post was written is evidence against the post. That more Republican primary voters in a very conservative state preferred Gingrich over Romney hardly tells us anything about his appeal to Americans as a whole.

  13. grumpy realist says:

    @Eric Florack: Also don’t forget that if Gingrich becomes the Republican nominee, there is a sizable population of people who will crawl across broken glass to vote against him.

    Gingrich isn’t liked.

  14. Eric Florack says:

    I’m not sure why you think South Carolina Republican primary voters voting the way the polls predicted they would days before the post was written is evidence against the post.

    Because it runs directly afoul of the conventional wisdom that you base the post on.

  15. Eric Florack says:

    Also don’t forget that if Gingrich becomes the Republican nominee, there is a sizable population of people who will crawl across broken glass to vote against him.

    Quite possibly. Then again, that would be true of any Republican candidate, wouldn’t it? Perhaps you don’t remember such threats being leveled against Ronald Reagan? I do. I was there.

  16. Eric Florack says:

    If we were to take the claim “most Americans identify themselves as conservative” at face value, why oh great thinker of the ages does a “Communist jihadist anti Americain Mooooooooslin” win the 2008 election of this here Great Republic?

    Because one presented with a choice of John McCain, the GOP rank and file sat on its hands.

  17. Eric Florack says:

    Republican Primary voters in South Carolina are not the same thing as all the voters throughout the nation who will come to the polls on November 6th, 2012…you do realize that, right? On second thought, maybe you don’t…

    Of course. Then again, South Carolina didn’t turn into what the conventional wisdom held that would, did it? If I were you I wouldn’t be too dependent on conventional wisdom in this race. Particularly, if it comes from people like Establishment GOP consultants for example.

  18. An Interested Party says:

    If I were you I wouldn’t be too dependent on conventional wisdom in this race.

    And if I were you, I wouldn’t be too dependent on your fantasies, like comparing Reagan to Gingrich…Newt is a guaranteed loser in November…