Romney, Gingrich favorable ratings nearly same

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Byron York

It has become conventional wisdom in the Republican presidential race that Newt Gingrich's unfavorable ratings are far higher than Mitt Romney's, with the difference between the two being the difference between electability and unelectability in a general election.  But now, a new poll shows the two candidates with nearly identical (and not very good) favorable-to-unfavorable ratings.

In a survey conducted January 18-22, the Washington Post found that Gingrich's favorable-to-unfavorable rating among all voters is 29-to-51 percent.  Romney's is 31-to-49 percent.

Among independents, Romney has a 23-to-51 favorable-to-unfavorable rating.  Gingrich's is 23-to-53.

Among Republicans, Romney has a 58-to-32 favorable-to-unfavorable rating.  Gingrich's is 55-to-34 percent.

Among Democrats, Romney has a 21-to-62 favorable-to-unfavorable rating.  Gingrich's is 16-to-66.

The numbers reflect a significant increase in Romney's unfavorable ratings in recent weeks, the Post reports.  The paper says that President Obama's favorable ratings have increased recently and stand at 53 percent among all Americans, and 51 percent among independents.

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