Poll: Gingrich leads GOP field nationally, but weakest against Obama

A poll released Thursday evening shows Newt Gingrich jumping into a double-digit lead over Mitt Romney among Republicans nationwide, but says he would be the weakest candidate in the fall against President Barack Obama.

According to the NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, as reported by MSNBC, Gingrich gets 37 percent, Romney 28 percent among registered Republicans likely to vote in the primaries. Rick Santorum is favored by 18 percent, and Ron Paul by 12 percent.

“Gingrich is Goldwater," said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. "In the general election, Gingrich not only takes down his ship, he takes down the whole flotilla."

Obama leads Romney by six points among registered voters, 49 percent to 43 percent. But the president leads Gingrich by 18 points, 55-37 percent. Santorum also trails Obama, 53-38 percent.

Read more at MSNBC.

Read the full poll results here: (.pdf)