Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is enduring one of the worst slides of the presidential campaign so far as his favorability ratings sink ever lower. This casts more doubt on the viability of his candidacy as the next two Republican primaries approach.
Sixty-three percent of Americans view Gingrich unfavorably and only 25 percent see him favorably, according to the latest CNN Opinion Research poll. In another poll conducted jointly by CBS News-New York Times, 54 percent view Gingrich unfavorably and 16 percent see him positively.
In a blog for the Washington Post's "The Fix" column Wednesday, entitled "Newt Gingrich: The most disliked politician in America," Aaron Blake said, "The numbers are worse than [those for] any national political figure The Fix could find in recent years."
The CBS-New York Times survey also found that only 36 percent of fellow Republicans view Gingrich favorably, compared with 29 percent who don't.
In its current edition, The National Review, an influential conservative magazine, urges Gingrich to drop out and leave former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum as the mainstream conservative challenger to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination.
"It is not clear whether Gingrich remains in the race because he still believes he could become president next year or because he wants to avenge his wounded pride: an ambiguity that suggests the problem with him as a leader," the National Review says.
Gingrich, however, says he won't exit the race and predicts he will surge back into the lead in a few weeks. He currently lags far behind Romney and Santorum in national polls of Republicans after winning the South Carolina GOP primary last month.
But he has been hurt by a wave of attack ads by his opponents, especially Romney and Romney supporters, and negative news coverage, including more attention to his ethics problems in Congress, his admitted adulteries, his changed positions on some issues and his seeming arrogance.
The Arizona and Michigan primaries are scheduled Feb. 28.