There is one very small piece of sorta good news for Mitt Romney buried in the last wave of polling showing Newt Gingrich leading in almost every state. Romney does slightly better against President Obama in the key swing states. From Quinnipiac polling:
Matching President Obama against either Gingrich or Romney in each of these key states – no one has won the White House since 1960 without carrying at least two of them – the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds:
- Florida: Romney with 45 percent to Obama’s 42 percent; Obama at 46 percent to Gingrich’s 44 percent.
- Ohio: Romney at 43 percent to Obama’s 42 percent; Gingrich with 43 percent to Obama’s 42 percent.
- Pennsylvania: Obama edging Romney 46 – 43 percent; Obama tops Gingrich 48 – 40 percent.
Romney can still legitimately claim the polling shows him as the GOP’s best chance of defeating Obama, but his electability advantage over Gingrich isn’t very big. Gingrich’s numbers are clearly weaker but they still technically put him within legitimate striking distance of Obama in the key battleground states of Ohio and Florida.
For the electability argument to really change minds Romney needs the polls to show him as the only hope for beating Obama, not just the candidate who would likely perform marginally better.
I won’t be surprised if the Romney campaign attacks against Gingrich personally in addition to focusing on why the Republican base shouldn’t like him, also heavily emphasis on reminding everyone about things Gingrich has done that could make him a huge general election liability.