Barney Frank: Obama would win 300-plus electoral votes against Gingrich

Rep. Barney Frank is predicting that President Obama would easily win a general election against Newt Gingrich, but stopped short of guaranteeing that Obama would eclipse his 2008 victory.

The retiring Massachusetts Democrat recently said that a Gingrich nomination “would be the best thing to happen to the Democrats since Barry Goldwater.”

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Asked for a prediction on electoral votes, Frank this week told The Hill, “The thing is [Gingrich] could carry most of the South.” He said Obama's count would be “in the 300s” against the Georgia Republican. 

To win the White House, 270 electoral votes are needed.

Obama won 365 electoral votes in 2008 against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who captured 173. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson won 486 electoral votes to Goldwater’s 52.

Earlier this fall amid Texas Gov. Rick Perry's surge in the GOP primary polls, Frank said Mitt Romney would present a more difficult challenge for Democrats in the general election.

At the time, Frank said, “I think [Perry is] the weaker candidate. I think Romney has avoided some of the more obnoxious elements of the extremism, so I think Romney would be a stronger candidate.”

Gingrich has brushed aside concerns about his electability, noting the few thought Ronald Reagan could defeat President Carter in 1980 until well after Reagan’s victory in the GOP primary.

Gingrich and Frank are not fond of one another. Gingrich said Frank should be put in prison for his role in the 2008 financial crisis. Frank has since fired back, calling Gingrich a "lobbyist and liar" after the revelation that Gingrich collected $1.6 million in fees from Freddie Mac.

Gingrich has repeatedly said he did not lobby for Freddie Mac.