Voters Eat Up Gingrich’s ‘Pious Baloney’ Jab at Romney

Monday, 09 Jan 2012 03:47 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who accused GOP front-runner Mitt Romney of engaging in “pious baloney” over the weekend, appears to have gotten a boost in his favorability rating as a result.

Gingrich, who had a favorability rating of -58 out of a possible 100 only a week ago — jumped up to a rating of 27 on Sunday as measured by The Daily Beast's Election Oracle. The service analyzes 40,000 news sites, blogs, message boards, Twitter feeds and other social media sources in assigning its ratings.

Gingrich also charged Romney with hiding behind inaccurate attack ads aired by allies in the second of two back-to-back debates on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Romney fired back at Gingrich in what was described as the most intense exchange of the weekend debate double-header run-up to Tuesday's New Hampshire primary.

"This ain't beanbag,” snapped Romney. “We're going to describe the differences between us."

In analyzing data, the Election Oracle relies on a form of artificial intelligence to assess every mention of a candidate’s name as positive, negative or neutral, treating each mention in a similar fashion — from a New York Times article to a Twitter post — based on an assumption that the more influential mention will be repeated in other articles, tweets, and the like.

“Gingrich's rise in favorability may indicate the Web's growing appetite for attacks on Romney,” according to The Daily Beast's Oracle, which gives Romney a 59 percent chance of winning the GOP nomination  compared with 13 percent for Gingrich.

Despite receiving 40 percent of all candidate mentions, Romney’s favorability rating has dipped to 14 as measured by Oracle.

Jon Huntsman, who dropped four points from Saturday, leads all GOP presidential candidates with a favorability rating of 47.

Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have seen their favorability numbers drop over the past week, with Santorum at 43 from a peak of 58, and Paul at -21, down from 55 just six days ago.

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