Newt is finally getting to taste the view at the top. In the latest Public Policy Polling poll, Newt has climbed to the top, edging out Cain and Romney. In fact, in this poll Newt was the only candidate with noticeable upward mobility. Both Cain and Romney saw declines, while Perry slipped far closer to 5% oblivion with fellow candidates Bachmann, Paul, Santorum, Huntsman and Johnson.
Newt’s ascension is no surprise to this staffer after Cain’s sexual harassment troubles refused to go away, his 9-9-9 plan came under scrutiny, and he gave a foreign policy debate performance where he may as well have said on a clear day he can see advisers who know something about foreign policy from his front doorstep. Ok, low blow. But you have to admit his debate performance was not up to Newt/Mitt standards.
Mitt Romney continues to occupy his base of supporters, but this poll may indicate that many who supported him as the only viable candidate are also giving Newt a second look. This is especially true considering things like the latest Whitehouse12.com poll that shows high negatives for Cain and Romney, but relatively low negatives for Gingrich.
What Newt Gingrich needs to do now is avoid saying anything stupid. The top spot in the GOP race is precarious. And Newt is not spotless. At times he means well, but is misunderstood. While he has chalked up his couch time with Pelosi and his weak campaign start as stupid mistakes, such an excuse will not carry him through January. Gingrich needs South Carolina and Florida to go his way before he can start feeling at all comfortable, and that is a ways away still.
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