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Gingrich Officially in 2012 Race... Finally

It took awhile, but Newt Gingrich is officially a candidate for the presidency in 2012. The former House speaker made the announcement via Twitter and Facebook Wednesday.

"I'm Newt Gingrich, and I'm announcing my candidacy for president of the United States because I believe we can return America to hope and opportunity, to full employment and to real security," Gingrich said in a web video.

In the two minute video, Gingrich spoke to the camera on a simple gray background and talked about his time as House speaker and his vision for an America with less focus on Washington.

"There's a much better American future ahead with more jobs, more prosperity, a better health system, longer lives, greater independent living and a country that is decentralized under the 10th amendment, with power once again back with the American people and away from the Washington bureaucracy," he said.

Gingrich will also sit down for an exclusive with Fox News' Sean Hannity Wednesday night to talk more about his decision. He came excruciatingly close, at least for an eager corps of political reporters, to making his announcement in March before pulling back. Instead he created a website called newtexplores2012.com, without actually creating a presidential exploratory committee.

Gingrich brings considerable name recognition to the Republican field, a quality candidates like former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have been working furiously to attain.

However, a new Gallup poll suggests that although many Americans know who Gingrich is, he still has some work to do if he's going to get their vote. Among Republicans 84 percent recognize his name. But Gingrich's Positive Intensity Score is only 11, below this week's average of 13 for all Republican contenders.

Mike Huckabee receives the highest Positive Intensity Score at 24, which is the percentage of those with a strongly favorable opinion minus the percentage of those with a strongly unfavorable opinion. Donald Trump, with 98 percent name recognition, has the lowest Positive Intensity Score of any of the 13 candidates polled by Gallup this week at zero.

The ostensible advantage Gingrich has on both Huckabee and Trump is that he's decided and announced that he's running. Gingrich will spend next week in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa.

The Gallup poll is based on interviews with more than 1,500 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents nationwide conducted from April 25-May 8. The margin of error is +/- 3%. For the Positive Intensity Score for each candidate, the maximum margin of sampling error varies depending on the size of the group recognizing the candidate.