Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Newt's Rise...Too Fast?

In my second piece on the political scavenging from Herman Cain's political corpse (harsh but accurate), we turn to Newt Gingrich who has amazed many, including myself, in how fast he has risen in just a week or so.

Admittedly, I wrote off Newt's campaign some time ago like many political observers because of various reasons (money being the key one in my opinion, and Newt's lack of it). And in the end, Newt's recent rise may be for not, but I have to give credit where credit is due.

Ever since Herman Cain's "misfortunes" started, many waited very little before speculating which of the GOPers would benefit most from Herman's fall. Most of more, unoriginal thinkers, predicted that Mitt Romney would be the greatest beneficiary not because Cain's supporters liked him best but because his supporters would flock to multiple candidates, leaving Romney right where he is. However that belief seems to have been short-sighted. On the contrary, it has been the candidate everyone wrote off that has benefited the most from Herman's fall: Newt Gingrich.

What has astonished me the most is the shear distance Newt's poll numbers have covered in a very short amount of time, rising from single digits to leading in many new polls out this week. This is largely remarkable in that such rises normally only occur after a new candidate enters the race (see Rick Perry's entry into the rat race), not to a candidate that has been in it from the start.

But thanks to a poll released yesterday by the Public Policy Polling group, we can see both where Newt's new found support comes from and that his rise may not yet be complete. When supporters of Herman Cain were asked how favorable they were towards the "other three" top GOP contenders, the results were quite interesting. 73% of Cain supporters hold a favorable opinion of the Newt while his closest competitors (Perry and Romney) only garner some 30 or percent from Cain's supporters. Take in account that Cain has yet to drop out of the race and therefore should he decide to before the Iowa Caucus (or do so soon afterwards) it's quite possible Newt could see a further bump in the polls. For note, this same poll already has Newt in the lead with 28% and Herman Cain at 25% and Romney pulling in just 18%. (1)

And that is hardly the only poll showing Newt's miracle rise. According to POLITICO, Newt manages to pull in second to Romney in a new CNN/ORC poll at 22% and at 19% in the McClatchy-Marist poll released last Friday. (2) Further, in the CNN/ORC poll, Newt leads the field when it comes to support among the Tea Party movement with 29% of TP folks preferring Mr. Gingrich, and increase of 19 points from the last CNN poll in October. Further, Newt's rise amongst Tea Partiers is matched by Herman Cain's fall, which Cain falling from 39% support from the TP to now just 22%. (3)

However, with all fast rises, there is always a risk of burning out. And many are wondering what kind of staying power Newt has and whether his recently talked about ties to Freddie Mac will sabotage his rise in the polls just as the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary are just around the corner. (4)

Personally, I am not sure how long Newt's lead in the polls will last, but at the very least I have to give Newt credit for running an underdog campaign, often ridiculed by many from both parties as wasting our time and should just drop out. Whether it be dumb luck or political smarts, Newt has finally gotten the respect he probably deserves...But will it last?

1. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/ppp-newt-leads-nationally_608071.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
2. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68328.html
3. http://decoded.nationaljournal.com/2011/11/why-newt-is-next-in-line.php
4. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68394.html


The views expressed the above piece are purely those of the author and not those of the Modern Whig Party or any other political organization.

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