Seven weeks from today, voters in Iowa will caucus and deliver the first verdict on the Republican field for President, and at this point, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich seems to have the momentum in the polls.
The idea of Gingrich being the Republican nominee has mainly generated chuckles and giggles in the halls of the Congress, where the new wave of GOP lawmaker looks at him as an old member of the Old Guard, not the future.
But Gingrich, who has always been told he can’t succeed in American politics, has suddenly become the hot item.
“Newt Gingrich has been rising steadily over the last 2 months,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling, which had a poll showing Newt in the lead.
“The top has proven to be a dangerous place in this GOP race though and we’ll see if he can sustain it for very long,” Debnam added.
How true that is.
Back in June, Michele Bachmann jumped up on the GOP stage, declared her candidacy at a debate in New Hampshire and zoomed up in the polls.
But when she won the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa, her success was overshadowed by the entrance of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who quickly zoomed into the lead, while Bachmann sank.
Perry went into the lead and then began a Bachmann-like slide; moving into the vacuum was Herman Cain, who used a good debate performance in Orlando and then a straw poll victory among Florida Republicans to catapult into the GOP lead.
Now, recent polls show Cain sliding. A new CNN poll out on Monday had him down 11 points from a month earlier – and maybe most concerning for Cain, that poll showed high negatives most likely stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.
Bachmann goes up, Bachmann down.
Perry goes up, Perry down.
Cain goes up, Cain now going down.
Will this polling trend continue? And will Gingrich be the next one to go up – and maybe down?
Four years ago at this time, Rudy Giuliani was the clear leader on the GOP side. Most people “in the know” would have laughed at the idea of Mike Huckabee winning in Iowa or John McCain winning the Republican nomination.
Just looking at the schedule today for the Republican hopefuls, you can tell the pace is quickening.
Cain, Gingrich and Perry are all in Iowa. Romney is in South Carolina, which is the third state in January.
49 days to go in Iowa. Every hour you waste now is an hour you will never get back in Election 2012.