Newt Gingrich is strongly favored in polls of would be Republican primary/caucus participants over runner up Mitt Romney in Iowa (+13), South Carolina (+23), Florida (+23) and Colorado (+19).
Gingrich trails Romney by 9 points in New Hampshire, which has the first in the nation primary, and the second in the nation contest (after Iowa). New Hampshire's venerable Union Leader newspaper, however, has endorsed Gingrich rather than New Englander Mitt Romney, and Romney's support in New Hampshire is still only a plurality of likely Republican primary voters.
No one other than Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney in the Republican Presidential race makes it into the top two candidates in any of these races. Bachmann, Paul, Perry, and Huntsman are all far behind in the single digits of likely GOP primary voter support. Herman Cain, of course, has withdrawn from the race.
Romney polls much better than Gingrich in head to head matchups with Obama among Democrats and independents, while polling only slightly worse in that matchup with Obama among Republicans.
In other words, the Republicans seem poised to shoot themselves in the foot in 2012, in substantial part, because they just can't bring themselves to connect culturally with Yankee Mormon Mitt Romney, even though he seems like the most electable of the members of the GOP field at the moment. They have not been in the wilderness long enough to feel the need to moderate their choice of candidates to win the next election. GOP insiders are more so now than ever before, as partisan realignment has largely run its course and the Tea Party faction had made big gains in the party's inner circles, a party whose insiders are predominantly Evangelical Christians from Dixie and the rural Midwest and West.