- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
- Joint Chiefs chair Dempsey: Pentagon, VA too slow in merging medical systems
- Sen. Ben Cardin hits Ukraine for crackdown on Kiev protests
- Drone technology turns South, targets feral pigs to kill
- Puerto Rico caravan honoring Paul Walker ends in 6 drunken-driving arrests, 72 speeding tickets
Once written off, Gingrich surges
Polls reflect strong showings in debates
Question of the Day
After stumbling badly out of the gate, Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign is showing surprising signs of life — rising in the polls and even attracting rising support from evangelical voters who have long been cool to the former House speaker.
“I definitely think it ends up Newt versus [former Massachusetts Gov.] Mitt Romney at some point after the caucuses and primaries are under way,” said Iowa House Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, a Republican who has endorsed the Georgian in her state’s key January caucuses.
Coupling a string of strong debate performance with rising doubts among the party faithful about the viability of Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mr. Cain, Mr. Gingrich could become the race’s new magnet for Republicans looking for an alternative to Mr. Romney.
Mr. Gingrich remains a long shot in the race after a disastrous rollout that left him at just 4 percent in GOP polls in mid-August. His organization on the ground — after the defections of key staffers in the early days of the campaign — trails far behind that of Mr. Romney. His fundraising efforts have picked up, with $1.2 million last month, but cannot compete with the bankrolls of Mr. Romney or Mr. Perry.
But polls have detected a clear surge for the former history professor in some of the race’s most critical states, even as he is adding staff, opening campaign offices in New Hampshire and South Carolina and stepping up fundraising appeals.
In Florida, a Quinnipiac University poll has Mr. Gingrich in the top tier, with 17 percent of respondents, after Mr. Cain’s 27 percent and Mr. Romney’s 21 percent. No other candidate manages to poll above 5 percent.
In Ohio, another crucial swing state, Mr. Cain leads with 25 percent, followed by Mr. Romney at 20 percent and Mr. Gingrich at 11 percent. Once again, none of the other rivals breaks into double digits.
In the political website RealClearPolitics’ average of South Carolina polls, Mr. Gingrich has climbed from 6 percent to a 10.3 percent average between mid-October and the first week of this month.
Contrary to the beliefs of many in the party, voters on the Christian right have not written off Mr. Gingrich despite a personal history that includes multiple marriages and admitted infidelities.
“Evangelicals will definitely go for Newt if he is the nominee,” insisted Jim Garlow, credited with organizing the evangelicals in the drive to pass a same-sex marriage ban in California. “I used to hear them say, ‘He’s the smartest one in the room, but he has personal issues.’ I’ve seen an enormous shift in the past four or five months. They no longer talk about personal issues, but about intelligence and capability of being president.”
Mr. Garlow, senior pastor of the Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, said if the nomination fight came down to Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich, “I’m guessing 80 [percent] to 90 percent of the evangelical vote in America would go to Newt. Romney’s Mormonism may be a factor, but the reason I hear most is they don’t trust Romney on abortion, marriage, economics and health care.”
“I think, no question, evangelicals will go for Newt if it comes down to him and Romney,” said Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Director Steve Scheffler, credited with organizing support for Pat Robertson’s stunning second-place finish in the 1988 Iowa caucuses. “Evangelicals are concerned with personal conduct, but most will judge people on their present conduct, and they have concluded Newt’s present lifestyle is exemplary.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- Jindal v. Obama: The new school choice battle; La. voucher fight revives reform led by conservatives
- Chris Christie's coup: George W. Bush appears on his behalf at GOP summit
- GOP governors lay out own agenda with Washington gridlocked
- Walker, Christie: The tale of 2 very different GOPers on a quest for the presidency
- Rick Perry visits Israel again, insists GOP won't be bruised by Ted Cruz
Latest Blog Entries
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
Bad science puts rich nations on the hook for trillions in climate liabilities
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Doctors say profound new HIV treatment may prove the cure
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- EDITORIAL: Motor City meltdown
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Last call: State Dept. bought $180,000 in liquor before shutdown
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Obama: Growing income inequality 'defining challenge' of this generation
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Career Doctor Cassi Fields prescribes valuable advice for anyone looking to find a career, nail an interview or earn a promotion.
Headlines from Associated Press and around the Internet
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.