Newt Gingrich, who hinted at a possible 2012 presidential run at a Thursday talk in Ashland, would likely start around the middle-of-the-pack of the better-known GOP contenders.
In a Gallup poll after the November election, Republicans and GOP-leaning independents split evenly on the question of whether the former speaker should seek their party's nomination; 47 percent said they'd like to see him run, 47 percent would prefer he sit out.
Just after Gingrich resigned as speaker following sizable GOP loses in 1998, 58 percent of all Americans in an ABC News poll disapproved of Gingrich's job performance and 70 percent said he was right to step down. Nonetheless, 56 percent in that same poll said the Georgia Congressman had been a "successful" leader in the House.
In Gallup's poll of GOP-leaners a decade later, 2008 hopefuls Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee both fared far better than Gingrich when looking ahead to the next presidential election. Ahead of the pack, though, was GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin; 67 percent said they'd like to see her in the race.
The latest national read on Gingrich is from a November Democracy Corps poll showing 23 percent of all voters with "warm" feelings toward Gingrich; 41 percent fell into that designation regarding Sarah Palin.
Back in the Gallup poll, the name of possible candidates that elicited the highest negatives from Republicans was Jeb Bush: 61 percent said they'd prefer he not try for the presidency in 2012.
Here's the full list from the November Gallup poll (data among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents) ...
%"would like to see each of the following Republicans run for president in 2012" (Those where the percentage of 'no opinions' reached double-digits are listed in parentheses.)
Sarah Palin 67% Mitt Romney 62 Mike Huckabee 61 David Petraeus 49 (12% no opinion) Rudy Giuliani 48 Newt Gingrich 47 Bobby Jindal 34 (30% no opinion) Jeb Bush 31 Charlie Crist 23 (31% no opinion) Lindsay Graham 21 (25% no opinion)