Tags: gingrich | romney | beat | obama

Gingrich or Romney: Who Can Beat Obama?

Friday, 16 Dec 2011 12:24 PM

By Ted Goldenberg

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Gingrich or Romney? Romney or Gingrich? We are just days away from the first votes in the 2012 presidential election, and likely Republican caucus-goers in Iowa are conflicted over which candidate has the best chance to beat President Obama.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are the clear favorites for the Republican nomination, according to the latest round of polls. What isn’t clear, however, is which horse Republican voters should bet on. In a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, 40 percent of registered Republican voters said they still were undecided.

While the Republican voters are making up their minds, a majority of political insiders agree that a strong Republican candidate can beat Obama.

Editor’s Note: What do you think? Does Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich have a better chance to beat Obama in 2012? Click here to vote!

“The president is certainly vulnerable. He’s no better than 50/50 for re-election, I think. All of the polls show that Romney at this point runs better then Gingrich,” says Democratic political strategist Doug Schoen. “Ultimately, elections are referenda on the incumbent, and as we sit here today, I think the president worries about any Republican nominee, who I think would have a very compelling and likely chance of beating him.”

But again, the question still remains — Gingrich or Romney: Who can beat Obama? The answer is either or neither. Both candidates have their obvious strengths and weaknesses, says Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, a prominent polling service.

“If Mitt Romney is the nominee, he’ll keep the spotlight on the president. Newt Gingrich could be a distraction — he’s a colorful character, but he’ll make it a choice rather than a referendum,” he says. “Friends and foes agree, Newt Gingrich can connect really well but also seems to keep a personal self-destruct button nearby and can say the wrong thing at the wrong time.”

In their most recent debate, the final before the Iowa caucuses, Romney and Gingrich stopped beating up on each other and started focusing on what they must do to beat Obama. When Romney was asked about Gingrich’s accusation that he eliminated jobs in an effort to gain wealth through his corporate consulting work, Romney said he understood the attack and expects the same from Obama.

Another example of this common trend of teaming up to beat Obama came during an interview with Iowa Public Television. Gingrich practically apologized to Romney for comments he made about the former Massachusetts governor’s tenure at Bain Capital. “I do regret taking a shot at Mitt,” Gingrich said. “It was foolish on my part. He had taken one more shot at me that he knew wasn’t true and made an assertion that he knew was absurd, but it violated all the core principles I have in terms of trying to stay positive despite temptation.”

If Romney and Gingrich are willing to start playing nice, perhaps each is willing to go from political stalemate to running mate. Of course, under that scenario, we’re still left with the same old questions: Romney or Gingrich? Gingrich or Romney? Who goes on the top of the ticket? And, oh yeah, can THEY beat Obama?

Editor’s Note: What do you think? Does Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich have a better chance to beat Obama in 2012? Click here to vote!

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