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Newt in 2012?

Newt Gingrich, who hinted at a possible 2012 presidential run at a Thursday talk in Ashland, would likely start around the middle-of-the-pack of the better-known GOP contenders.

In a Gallup poll after the November election, Republicans and GOP-leaning independents split evenly on the question of whether the former speaker should seek their party's nomination; 47 percent said they'd like to see him run, 47 percent would prefer he sit out.

Just after Gingrich resigned as speaker following sizable GOP loses in 1998, 58 percent of all Americans in an ABC News poll disapproved of Gingrich's job performance and 70 percent said he was right to step down. Nonetheless, 56 percent in that same poll said the Georgia Congressman had been a "successful" leader in the House.

In Gallup's poll of GOP-leaners a decade later, 2008 hopefuls Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee both fared far better than Gingrich when looking ahead to the next presidential election. Ahead of the pack, though, was GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin; 67 percent said they'd like to see her in the race.

The latest national read on Gingrich is from a November Democracy Corps poll showing 23 percent of all voters with "warm" feelings toward Gingrich; 41 percent fell into that designation regarding Sarah Palin.

Back in the Gallup poll, the name of possible candidates that elicited the highest negatives from Republicans was Jeb Bush: 61 percent said they'd prefer he not try for the presidency in 2012.

Here's the full list from the November Gallup poll (data among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents) ...

%"would like to see each of the following Republicans run for president in 2012" (Those where the percentage of 'no opinions' reached double-digits are listed in parentheses.)

Sarah Palin    67%
Mitt Romney    62
Mike Huckabee  61
David Petraeus 49 (12% no opinion)
Rudy Giuliani  48
Newt Gingrich  47
Bobby Jindal   34 (30% no opinion)
Jeb Bush       31
Charlie Crist  23 (31% no opinion)
Lindsay Graham 21 (25% no opinion)

By Jon Cohen  |  March 6, 2009; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  Polls  
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I'm assuming that the 67% who wish for Palin to run must include 100% of democrats. Let's face it, the woman has absolutely no chance of ever becoming President. She simply isn't that smart and she will be exposed over the course of a campaign. IMHO Romney and Crist are the only candidates with a chance in a general election. Newt is an interesting figure but he's not nearly focused or disciplined enough.

Posted by: mburix | March 6, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't Rush Limbaugh on the list?

Posted by: nodebris | March 6, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Thoughtful Republicans must know there is no one on the list with any hope of becoming president in 2012, unless of course Obama implodes in the next four years. Palin at the top of the list? Surely, the respondents were pulling our collective legs?

Posted by: Diogenes | March 6, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

That list reads like a dream list of candidates that Democrats would like to see win the Republican nomination. How did the GOP bench get so thin?

Posted by: skrut003 | March 6, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse


The more the NEO-CON addled republican party reachesback in time to dinasaurs for ideas the longer they will be lost in the wilderness.

Americans disagree with republican hypocrisy, hate, incompetence, and sell-out actions to lobbiests, oil interests standing in the way of green energy progress, and multi-national corporations that don't pay tax in the US.

The crimninal and drug-addled Rush Limbaugh is the Republican intellectual, moral, political party leader now.

...That's a pretty good start for the Democratic Party, and us independents!

..But if you could please bring back Newt... The man who delivered divorce papers to his wife in her cancer ward hospital bed! The hypocrite who claoms to be biblically christian and devout!...well that would be great for anyone who hates hypocrisy and incompetence in government!

Posted by: onestring | March 6, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE! Let the man who served his cancer-ridden wife with divorce papers in her hospital bed run for President!

Let the hypocrite, morally bankrupt, criminal, and intellectually dead party place the dinasaur-minded, baby-boomer senior citizen "Newt" as their standard bearer!

Rush Limbaugh is the drug addled, criminal voice and intellectual leader of the Republican base, but Newt is the poster boy for moral hypocrisy divorcing his cancer-suffering wife in her hospital bed.

Yeah! Let's watch Republicans hitch their wagon to Newt's rising star!

Posted by: onestring | March 6, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Four years is a long way off in political time so these numbers mean nothing at this point.

Posted by: BubbaRight | March 6, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Newt would be great! His extreme anti-government ideology will look great after three years of government rescue of the business world is bearing fruit. Right! Tell us again Newt, how if Government just gets out of the way of Corporations, Wall Street, The Banks, they have our best interests in mind. Tell us how alternative energy is for left-wing hippies and coal, gas and oil is the only way to power America. How protecting the environment from the rapacious, profit-driven private sector means a complete shut-down of our economy.

Newt has been so wrong on so many things, only a complete denial of facts and the blind faith of a true believer could sustain a campaign. We just finished 8 years of such folly. I don't think America is ready for another radical conservative.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 6, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. Let's see, now.
Palin, tax dodger; Romney, carpetbagger; Huckabee, slightly to the right of, well, Mussolini; Petraeus, no Grant him; Giuliani, Bernie Kerik's best friend; Jindal, living proof that God defecates; Bush, a man with a last name that will never again grace any elected office; Crist, who he?; and Graham, Lieberman's buddy and the palace idiot who ran the Clinton impeachment...
What the hey, let 'em all run and together they won't rack up enough votes to win the office of Septic Tank Cleaner.
Gotta hand it to the Republicans. They sure know what Abba Eban was wont to say: "they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Posted by: valerieprintemps | March 6, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Gingrich has at least one big negative that has to be hammered home to all those who purport to espouse "family values." He has not only been married three times, but he cheated on each of his first two wives. His dalliances while married to wfie #2 were the worst kept secret in DC. While we have all come to expect hypocrisy from the right wing on any number of issues (fiscal responsibility, culture of "life", traditional values, etc.) that doesn't mean we should not make note of Newt's marital history again and again. After all, it's what he would do.

On the issue of Sarah Palin, we should only hope that she becomes the GOP nominee. This would mean a slam dunk for Obama. Can you really see her on a debate stage against him? Really?

Posted by: topperale | March 6, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Talk about your dream team. I can think of two couples I know who are home schooling their kids that would contribute $50 or so.
You betcha.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | March 6, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Newtie is finished! Intelligent people will always remember the mess this guy caused.

Posted by: truth1 | March 6, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for that list too! What an incredible bunch of people- I understand Jindal won't run- sad- I was hoping for the double creationist ticket of Palin/Jindal. Crist/Graham is good, too- maybe they will both come out of the closet.

Posted by: silverspring25 | March 6, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Gingrich would be ok. Of all the Republicans on the list, his free market credentials may be the best. He would be a tremendous breath of sanity, hope, life, freedom, justice, imagination, progress (I could go on a long time), after 4 years of our current buffoon.

Posted by: Rational4 | March 6, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE run Newt.

I can't wait to see him try to be Mr Family Values.

Posted by: mcgrafto | March 6, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Newt Gingrich? The Republicans are so out of touch with reality.
But, after seeing the poll given in this article, the Republicans deserve what they get -- the problem is the rest of America doesn't deserve it....

Posted by: abby0802 | March 6, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

There is only one reason that George W Bush won a 2nd term and it is the same reason that the Republicans had no chance what-so-ever with McCain as our nominee. Thankfully I believe this issue was addressed at CPAC last weekend and will hopefully be a hot topic moving towards the midterm elections and of course the 2012 election. That reason is that Bush was seen as having many of the basic values that true conservatives hold dear while McCain was going after as many independants as he could, hoping that the right would give him their full support. Republicans cannot be wishy-washy in their stance on the issues that hit home with true "Conservatives". Sanctity of Marriage and of Life, 2nd amendment rights, less taxation, and less government intervention.

Out of the list provided above (which may I add the only reason Palin is on there is because republicans liked the fact that she held true to real conservative values without noticing she has no experience needed to be president [of course neither does obama so maybe that point is null]) there is only one person who would hold true to each of the basic principles of the republican party AND has a record to back up those principles. That person is Mike Huckabee.

His plan to eliminate the IRS is the only true "fair tax". Raising the sales tax would make those who spend more, pay more. That means the rich would be taxed based on hwo much they spent just the same way the middle class and lower class would be. He is the only conservative from this past election (except for palin) who took a bold stance on both abortion and gay marriage to say they were both wrong and should not be legal in the united states. He is 100% against gun control as well, another key belief of true conservatives. I believe that 100% of the true conservative base in America is better than getting only a portion of the base and hoping to win over independents and even some right leaning dems like the party tried to do with McCain....of course by the time 2012 gets here, people will be so upset with the direction of the country and Dems will no longer be able to blame everything on Bush that Obama's fall from the white house will be a swift and only painful for the dems.

Posted by: karrboy84 | March 6, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Oh God, please, please, PLEASE...please let Newtie run for president. I, for one, would welcome revisiting how he cheated on his wife (and tried to lie about it) at the exact same time that he was leading the charge to impeach Bill Clinton--for cheating on his wife and trying to lie about it.

I'd love to hear once again all about how he divorced his first wife on her cancer bed.

I'd so love to revisit his McCainian moment of "wisdom" in shutting down the government when he couldn't get his way over the budget.

And this is only the beginning. Oh, Newtie, please run for president--or dog catcher--or to the refrigerator. Anything so that we can once again pass judgment on your severe lack of it. Nothing would make me happier! Please move your god-awful party even more stridently to the right. I beg of you.

Hugs and kisses.

Posted by: tellthetruth01 | March 6, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

The Republican Party came into power on a smaller government less spending platform and once in power gave an even bigger government and even bigger spending. Who would believe these people now after the results they produced? The only thing for true fiscal conservatives to do is to form a new party and leave the religious right wing on its own. No one believes the Republicans anymore. The brand is not just bad it is radioactive. Change the name and logo and start over.

Posted by: info4 | March 6, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Sarah's political ambitions and Newt's personal history just might result in Sarah Gingrich.

Posted by: whocares666 | March 6, 2009 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I can understand that the GOP is kind of depressed lately, I did not think they were suicidal.....

Posted by: gpernot | March 6, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

go ahead newt you will have to interviewed by others than fox news .hes not going to run his ego is so large like the rest of them he has to see his name in print so often .what he should know that the majority of us laugh yes truly laugh at him and people like him. not the country club type but american legions vfws and local watering these people are really laughed at.

Posted by: donaldtucker | March 6, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope Newt isn't one in the running. He is in the long chain of historic mistakes the Republicans made that led up to the 2008 election debacle. Newt is a big talking do nothing type politician.

Posted by: npsilver | March 6, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

I really hope that Palin wins the nomination in 2012. This would be the biggest comedic spectacle. Crist seems sane but he would never win the Rethuglican primary. Romney has a good shot of winning the primary but if his last campaign is any indication he would get a drubbing from Obama. The rest of those on that list are shockingly inept.

Posted by: jabreal00 | March 6, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I really like both Gingrich and Huckabee, but the playing field for me narrowed when Sarah Palin entered the scene. She is an amazing combination of wit, intelligence, graciousness, charisma, integrity, and character. Her beauty only adds to her star power. If she chooses to run, she will win in 2012. And she definitely has my vote!

Posted by: FayfromGeorgia | March 6, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

Newt Gingrich Defaulted on his "Contract With America"; I see no reason to believe he is any better today than before.

Posted by: ddoiron1 | March 8, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

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