Some people told us not to underestimate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) as he was falling from grace last year amid mass staffing exits and controversy over Tiffany bracelets for the Mrs. But, we kept moving with the story and then locked it away in the political graveyard.
But, Gingrich is the story least paid attention to these days as most are caught up in Uncle Herman’s alleged sexual harassment of multiple women and Rick Perry’s fumble of the rhetorical football. Few, however, seem to pay attention to the rise of Gingrich in the polls and those claiming front runner status could be doing so at their peril.
Former Newt buddy Rich Galen in Mullings
The two candidates who are stable in their numbers are Romney (with a ceiling of about 25 percent of GOP voters) and Ron Paul (who will stay between six and 10 percent). That leaves about 65 percent of Republican voters looking for a home. Cain will continue to drift downward (my words, not Newt’s); Santorum, Huntsman, and Bachman are, and will continue to be minor players.”
“So, Newt’s thinking goes, he doesn’t need to beat Romney — he needs to consolidate the non-Romney vote and he’s the only one who can do that.”
An example from recent history: “Sixty-two percent of Iowa voters wanted someone other than Barack Obama four years ago. The only reason he won was because Hillary and Edwards almost precisely split 60 percent of the votes.
And, maybe some folks are watching Newt closely. Anytime Mitt Romney says you’re right during a debate, that means he’s watching you closely. Here’s Alexander Burns in Politico:
A conservative source forwards an anti-Newt Gingrich email making the rounds this weekend, drawing Republicans’ attention to the former House speaker’s history of off-message and ideologically erratic comments.
The email is a reminder of the challenge Gingrich faces ahead of him, if he really has to go through the same level of vetting as other credible GOP presidential candidates — like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann did when they were on the upswing in the polls. But it’s also a sign that Gingrich’s rise is being taken seriously by his opponents inside the party.