Newt Gingrich’s poll numbers are in free-fall in Iowa. As recently as December 12th, Gingrich had a 10-point lead over his nearest competitor in Insider Advantage’s poll of the state. But now, Insider Advantage has Gingrich in fourth place behind Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Rick Perry. Other pollsters have found similar results. Public Policy Polling has Gingrich falling from first to third and Rasmussen has Romney beating Gingrich 23 percent to 20 percent.
Asked why his numbers have collapsed in Iowa, Gingrich said yesterday, “Watch TV here for 2 days. You had all sorts of people, all sorts of these Super PACs who have been consistently running negative ads.” It is true: Iowa voters have seen millions in anti-Gingrich ads thanks to the Paul campaign and the Romney Super PAC, Restore Our Future.
But Gingrich’s collapse is not limited to Iowa where the anti-Newt onslaught has been on the air. The fall has not been as dramatic, but a new national CNN poll has Romney tied with Gingrich at 28%; last month Gingrich was up 24% to 20%. And Gallup’s daily national tracking poll has Gingrich lead’s collapsing from a peak of 37% to 22% on December 5th, to just two points, 26% to 24%, today.
Campaign ads definitely played a role in educating Iowa conservatives about Gingrich faults faster than the rest of the nation, but even without them, the truth was bound to get out eventually.
Around the Bigs
The Washington Examiner, House delays payroll tax vote: Late last night, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R.-Va., announced that a vote to reject the Senate payroll tax cut bill, as originally scheduled for yesterday, would be moved to Tuesday morning. Asked if he had the votes for the House to reject the Senate bill, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, “Oh yeah.”
ABC News, Two-Month Payroll Tax Holiday Passed By Senate, Pushed By President, Cannot Be Implemented Properly, Experts Say: The National Payroll Reporting Consortium, Inc. wrote a letter to Congress yesterday telling them that “insufficient lead time” to implement the complicated change mandated by the legislation means the two-month payroll tax holiday “could create substantial problems, confusion and costs affecting a significant percentage of U.S. employers and employees.”
The Wall Street Journal, Inside Capitol, Investor Access Yields Rich Tips: Paying for advance word of government decisions is part of a growing, lucrative—and legal— practice in Washington that employs a network of brokers, lobbyists and political insiders who arrange private meetings between hedge funds and officials, including lawmakers and their aides.
The Washington Post, Europe could face “unprecedented” finance risk in early 2012: European Central Bank President Mario Draghi warned Monday that European governments and banks have about $500 billion in outstanding bonds coming due in the first three months of 2012 that have to be refinanced with new loans.
Politifact, Lie of the Year 2011: ‘Republicans voted to end Medicare’: Politifact chose Democrat claims that ‘Republicans voted to end Medicare’ as their Lie of the Year.
The Washington Post, Obama’s job-approval rating is highest since summer: According to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, President Obama’s job approval rating has risen to 49 percent, the highest level it has been since March of this year.
New Hampshire: According to the latest Public Policy Polling survey, Mitt Romney has a double-digit lead in New Hampshire, beating Ron Paul 35 percent to 19 percent. Newt Gingrich is in third with 17 percent, Jon Huntsman has 13 percent, and Michele Bachmann has 5 percent.
Bush: The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York reports that Republican unhappiness with the current presidential field is fueling speculation that former-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush may enter the race.
Gingrich: AshleyMadison.com, a website for would-be adulterers, has posted a billboard in the Pennsylvania suburbs of Philadelphia, with a picture of Newt Gingrich making a “ssshhh” sign and reading: “Faithful Republican, Unfaithful Husband. Welcome to the Ashleymadison.com Era.”
The Weekly Standard‘s Jay Cost explains why Obama is a “very beatable” president.
RedState‘s Erick Erickson details “The Strategic Incompetence of Mitch McConnell.”
A Wall Street Journal editorial notes that big businesses like the Chicago Board of Trade and Sears are scoring tax credits to offset Illinois’ higher business taxes while small to medium size businesses who can’t afford lobbyists are getting stuck with the bill.
The Huffington Post‘s Sam Stein notes that 56 House Republicans, including Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, backed a bill in February 2009 that would have suspended the entire payroll tax for two months paid for by unused TARP funds.
New York Mag’s Jonathan Chait says Republicans are opposing the payroll tax cut because they only like regressive tax cuts.
Salon reports that Newt Gingrich told clients to take advantage of “the good parts” of Obamacare.