With just over a month to go, a new Des Moines Register poll of likely Iowa caucus voters released Saturday shows Newt Gingrich surging to first place, at 25 percent. Ron Paul is in second place, with 18 percent, while Mitt Romney has fallen to third place, at 16 percent. Michele Bachmann had 8 percent, as did Herman Cain, who suspended his campaign Saturday. Rick Perry and Rick Santorum were tied at 6 percent.The New York Times suggests that Gingrich's recent rise in the polls seems improbable.
It’s Gingrich’s braininess — or at least his preening assertion of such — that doesn’t quite fit, breaking the Republican pattern of late. How does an ostentatious know-it-all fare so well in a party supposedly hostile to intellectuals and intellectualism?
The candidates who surged before him are to varying degrees yahoos.Or perhaps when push came to shove, Republican voters decided that after dating the new, fresh and exciting people that in the end it wanted someone more stable? (Although using dating and Gingrich in the same sentence might not be the best use of the English language?)
In recent days, Mr. Romney has taken to attacking Mr. Gingrich, as the Associated Press notes, and that's a sure sign he believes the former Speaker of the House is a legitimate candidate.
“I must admit that Newt has had a very extensive, long record of working in Washington with various governmental and nongovernmental agencies, and I just don’t think that’s the background that’s ideally suited, one, to replace Barack Obama, and number two, to lead the country,’’ Romney said. “This is not a matter of that America needs better lobbyists, or better deal-makers, better insiders - I think America needs a leader.’’
Romney also disputed Gingrich’s claim that Gingrich would win the nomination.The comments represent Romney’s most aggressive attacks yet on Gingrich, who has risen in national polls in recent weeks and is currently viewed as the chief conservative alternative to Romney.