Newt Gingrich conference
The nasty Republican fight is spilling over onto the Web.

The race for the Republican nomination is about to get dirty—YouTube and Facebook dirty.

With the Florida primary just a week away, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are in a political battle royal that will unfold in the Sunshine State but is spilling over into Web communities.

On Sunday, the Romney camp launched an ad on YouTube titled “Florida Families” which took on Gingrich's past as a “Washington insider.” It also connects Gingrich to Freddie Mac and claims that the former Speaker of the House resigned in disgrace.

The commercial hits hard when Romney needs to knock down Gingrich the most. According to RealClearPolitics, Gingrich is leading the former governor by almost one percentage point in Florida. Although it may not seem like much, a lot can happen in seven days and this race has certainly proved that.

It’s not clear how many times the video’s been viewed. The view counter on YouTube is stuck at 306—a bug that usually indicates views are accumulating more swiftly than the site can keep up.

On Facebook, it has been shared hundreds of times and garnered thousands of comments. Some agreed with the video, while others took the opportunity to call Romney out on his own record.

“Newt is wrong for the presidency, too combative and divisive. One need only see his low-road campaigning and preemptive slurs on other GOP hopefuls to rule him out as a choice,” wrote Michael Bellew.

But David Kovachi wrote this: “Mitt voted for Dukakis. That means he voted against Reagan. How do you get that wrong?”

But no matter how hard Romney was hitting on YouTube, Gingrich was gaining speed on Facebook. According to, Gingrich had almost 241,000 fans on Sunday, Jan. 22. In 24 hours, he gained more than 6,000 new likes, showing that his win in South Carolina on Saturday was only helping him.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

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