The Un-Newtening?

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MANCHESTER, NH - DECEMBER 12: Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich takes part in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate with Jon Huntsman at Saint Anselm College on December 12, 2011 in Manchester, New Hampshire. The debate will primarily delve into national security and foreign policy.  (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
Not so fast, Newt. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/2011 Getty Images

A University of Iowa poll that came out yesterday showed Newt Gingrich sliding precipitously over the last several days:

Yesterday, we posted an Iowa poll from the University of Iowa. It showed Gingrich with a nine and a half point lead (29.8 to 20.3) over Romney, who was in second place. However, there was an aspect of the poll that wasn’t reported here: the decline in Gingrich’s support that the poll captured.

The poll was conducted over a one week period. According to Reuters, who co-sponsored the poll, during the first half of the survey Gingrich clocked in at a whopping 37.7%; however, during the last three days of polling, he had fallen to 24.4% — a decline of 13.3% in a matter of days.

And today a new PPP poll also has Gingrich’s lead falling, and his favorability ratings plunging from +31 to +12. What has caused this? Everybody is ganging up on Newt in Iowa. Mitt Romney is ponying up for a $3.1 million ad buy, and that money goes pretty far in Iowa. Ron Paul has decided, for reasons known only to Ron Paul, to unleash his moneybomb in the form of a brutal advertising assault on Gingrich, also in Iowa. Meanwhile, the entire Republican Establishment is justifiably freaking out about the possibility of a Gingrich nomination, and just about every conservative columnist is channeling their angst.

The interesting question will be if Gingrich has, or can obtain, enough money to punch back.