POLITICS
01/03/2012 08:38 am ET

Newt Gingrich Iowa Caucus 2012 Outlook

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted one day before Tuesday's Iowa Caucus, "I don't think I'm going to win."

Gingrich's campaign has experienced dramatic ups and downs over the course of the primary campaign. After hitting significant bumps in the road last summer, things appeared to be turning around for the presidential hopeful in recent months. A Des Moines Register poll released in December showed Gingrich leading in the race for the Hawkeye State; however, not long after the Republican contender saw his fortunes begin to fade.

Caught In The Crossfire Of "Modern Politics"

HuffPost's Paul Blumenthal reports:

"This is politics," Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared Dec. 21, dismissing calls for him to condemn ads attacking former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that were run by an independent group supporting Romney's candidacy.

The ads were part of an unprecedented $3.3 million negative campaign of television spots and direct mail by Restore Our Future, an independent expenditure-only committee or super PAC, which blunted Gingrich's rise and may very well be the main ingredient in an Iowa victory for Romney next Tuesday.

Never before have the Iowa caucuses seen such a campaign by any group other than a candidate committee. And with days to go before Iowans cast their votes, the new political landscape is coming into sharper focus.
...
Gingrich, the target of the pro-Romney super PAC's ammo, was left in a more fetal state. "I can't do modern politics," the former speaker said at one campaign stop. At another, he broke down in tears, as he described memories of his mother.

Over the weekend, Gingrich said that he had been "Romney-boated" and alleged that the former Massachusetts governor would buy the race for the White House if he could.

HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal reports:

How much impact did the negative ads have? The answer is difficult to quantify, since news coverage that repeated and added validity to many of the attack lines helped cut Gingrich's support nationwide. But the sheer volume of attacks advertising aired against Gingrich is staggering.

An analysis shared with the The Huffington Post by Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group, a company that monitors all television advertising, found that nearly half of the political advertisements aired in Iowa since December 1 were anti-Gingrich.

CMAG's Ken Goldstein told HuffPost via email that more than half (51 percent) of all the political ads aired in Iowa in December focused on Gingrich. "Unfortunately for him," Goldstein wrote, "most of the ads have been aired by his opponents -- with fully 45 percent of all advertising in Iowa attacking Gingrich."

Perhaps even more telling: The negative spots attacking Gingrich amounted to more than twice the number of positive ads run on behalf of Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Ron Paul combined.

The Polls

HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal reports:

The latest poll of Iowa's likely Republican caucus-goers provides more evidence of a race headed toward a photo finish, with Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and a surging Rick Santorum running within two percentage points of each other.

The automated poll conducted by the Democratic Party-affiliated firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Ron Paul at 20 percent, Mitt Romney at 19 percent and Rick Santorum at 18 percent on a survey for which PPP reports a margin of error for each candidate of +/- 2.7 percent. Running farther back are Newt Gingrich at 14 percent, Rick Perry at 10 percent, Michele Bachmann at 8 percent, Jon Huntsman at 4 percent and Buddy Roemer at 2 percent. PPP interviewed 1,340 likely Republican caucus goers on December 31 and January 1.
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PPP's results and trends are mostly consistent with those on a half-dozen other polls released in the last week. HuffPost Pollster's chart, based on all public polls in Iowa, currently shows Mitt Romney leading with 22.5 percent, Ron Paul in second but fading slightly to 19.1 percent, Rick Santorum rising fast to 17.1 percent, and Newt Gingrich still falling and now at 12.9 percent.

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