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NEW YORK , N.Y. - December 21, 2011 - While The Harris Poll has looked in-depth at both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich , it is interesting to see how the two compare to each other, especially in the minds of Republicans, Conservatives and Tea Party supporters. Looking at whether people like their political opinions, Gingrich is ahead of Romney among Republicans (66% like vs. 57%), Conservatives (59% vs. 48%) and Tea Party supporters (70% vs. 56%). Looking at the two men on a more personal level the feelings are more similar as over half of Republicans like both Newt Gingrich (56%) and Mitt Romney (58%) as a person and half of Conservatives feel the same way about Gingrich (51%) and Romney (49%).These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,237 adults surveyed online between December 5 and 12, 2011 andThe Harris Poll of 2,499 adults surveyed online between November 7 and 14, 2011 by Harris Interactive.In looking at intelligence, seven in ten Republicans think Mitt Romney (69%) and Newt Gingrich (70%) are very intelligent people. There is more of a divide among Conservatives as two-thirds (67%) believe Gingrich is a very intelligent person while only three in five (61%) say the same about Romney. Tea Party supporters also show a similar divide as 78% say Gingrich is very intelligent while 71% say Romney is.There is less of a difference between the two men as to whether they inspire confidence. Looking at Mitt Romney, 53% of Republicans, 46% of Conservatives and 53% of Tea Party supporters say he inspires confidence personally. When it comes to Newt Gingrich, 54% of Republicans, 48% of Conservatives and 58% of Tea Party supporters say he inspires confidence personally.Looking at political ideology, one in five Conservatives (19%) and Tea Party supporters (18%) believe Mitt Romney is too liberal. Half of Tea Party supporters (49%) and Republicans (48%) but 42% of Conservatives believe Romney is neither too liberal nor too conservative. Over half of Tea Party supporters (56%), Republicans (53%) and Conservatives (51%), however, all say Newt Gingrich is neither too liberal nor too conservative.Among all Americans, if Mitt Romney was the nominees, 33% would vote for him, 38% would not and 25% are not sure but if Newt Gingrich was the Republican nominee, 30% would vote for him, almost half (46%) would not and 21% are not sure. In a general election, Gingrich still has more support from Conservatives (62% would vote for him compared to 57% for Romney) and Tea Party supporters (70% versus 64% for Romney).So What?While Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are not the only two candidates vying for the Republican nomination, they are, at the moment, front runners. One clearly is given more support from Conservatives and Tea Party supporters, but when it comes to electability in November, doesn't do as well. One reason may be Independents. Two in five Independents (40%) would vote for Mitt Romney while 34% would not, however, almost half of Independents (45%) would not vote for Newt Gingrich while 30% would.
Doing better in the general election at this time is myth. What is most important about this is that is shows Newt will generate turnout of the conservative base. That is what will get him elected
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