The Washington Post

Gingrich moon shot: Polling well

Good news for NASA!

The Washington Post- ABC News poll released Monday contains some good news for the increasingly underfunded space agency and some excellent news for presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks during a news conference Saturday in Las Vegas. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Gingrich, whose signature campaign proposal — or at least that’s what his primary opponents would have you believe — is to develop a colony on the moon and send a spaceship to Mars in the next eight years, is doing quite well in a head-to-head matchup against President Obama.

The poll, more than half of which was conducted before the upbeat unemployment data was released Friday and before that Saturday Night Live spoof, showed Obama beating both Gringrich and Mitt Romney among registered voters


Romney is at 45 percent in the poll. But Gingrich, presumably unable to gain traction in the primaries because people think Romney would have a far better chance at beating Obama, gets a respectable 43 percent. That’s hardly a substantial difference—although Obama’s numbers go up if Gingrich is the candidate.

So reading the poll that way — for full effect you must hold the newspaper (or your iPad) up over your head and then tilt your head to the right — the space exploration and the implied massive infusion of funds for NASA, are pretty much the winning ticket for the former House speaker.

The colony, he notes, could have congressional representation, which could require pols to regularly shuttle back and forth from the Hill to the moon to press the flesh — unless they use that Star Trek transporter.

We’re hearing NASA’s budget is about to take a massive hit, so a Gingrich victory in November would surely reverse that.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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