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Newt Gingrich Surges Ahead of Mitt Romney in Republican Polls

Posted on the 06 December 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

Newt Gingrich surges ahead of Mitt Romney in Republican polls

Newt Gingrich: Surging. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Newt Gingrich is currently the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. A Washington Post poll gave the former House Speaker a “clear lead” over his closest rivals, including one-time favorite Mitt Romney. Written off just a few months ago, Gingrich has come from behind to overtake the rest of the GOP field. Is Gingrich a one-month wonder or does he really have a shot at the nomination?

Surprise rise. “[Gingrich's] flabby presidential candidacy is a worn-out joke, his campaign is over $1 million in debt, and he is still consistently polling several points below ‘none/no one’ among likely GOP voters,” said Kirsten Boyd Johnson at Wonkette back in August, reporting that Gingrich’s campaign may have hired agencies to create fake Twitter followers to make him look popular.

Gingrich helped by Cain. An endorsement from Herman Cain, who suspended his own campaign, would be a huge boost to Gingrich and would help to counter some of the former House Speaker’s inadequacies, argued Ed Rogers at The Washington Post’s Insiders blog. “Gingrich’s roll is likely to continue, and Romney will probably still have to try to slow his descent,” said Rogers.

Romney hid records. The news of Gingrich’s surge doesn’t come at an ideal time for Romney: Mark Hosenball reported for Reuters that during his time as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney spent $100,000 of state money on replacing computers in order to keep his records secret. “The move during the final weeks of Romney’s administration was legal but unusual for a departing governor, Massachusetts officials say,” wrote Hosenball.

Romney needs to react. “Some high-profile Romney contributors think it’s time to get tough with the former House speaker,” wrote Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns at Politico. “The debate now taking place among Romney’s supporters is whether — and how soon — such a newly sharpened focus ought to include direct attacks on Gingrich.”According to Martin and Burns, Romney-supporting Republicans are mystified by Gingrich’s sudden rise and are hoping he will implode.

Gingrich to press the self-destruct button? Rich Galen wrote at The Daily Beast that it is entirely possible Gingrich, his former boss, will hurt his own chances of gaining the GOP nomination. Galen argued that there is a “Good Newt”, who is “remarkable to watch”, but also a “Bad Newt”, who emerged during a recent speech in South Carolina: “Gingrich bragged about making more money in 45 minutes than a typical family in his audience made in an entire year.”

‘Big ideas’ could harm Gingrich. One of Gingrich’s strengths is his ability to generate “Big Thoughts”, said Trip Gabriel at The New York Times, but this could also prove his undoing: “The fallout from his statements often traps him in lengthy digressions from his main messages, and it highlights one of the central questions about him as a candidate and potential president: is he sufficiently disciplined?”

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