Surging Gingrich claims top spot in new GOP poll - Washington Times:
Quick notes: Mr. Gingrich received 26 percent, while Mr. Romney, received 22 percent, Herman Cain dropped from 30 percent to 14 percent. Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry were tied in a distant fourth place with 6 percent.
But this is what I really want to talk about:
The survey results also highlighted some potential problems for Mr. Gingrich. While he outperformed Mr. Romney when it comes to leadership, experience and foreign policy, the former Massachusetts governor received significantly higher scores when voters were asked who has “a strong moral character.”
My assertion is that if "moral character" were being interpreted in a social conservative view of Bill Clinton-way - Romney would have those votes now. Those that DON'T care about abortion, biblical truths and social conservatism have been avoiding Romney like an MF Global nest-egg. Those that truly CARE about "moral character" have already voted against Romney, and still Gingrich is in the lead. A move by someone like Bachmann could change that, but only a sudden, unlikely "new" revelation about Gingrich would jeopardize his lead. We all know who Gingrich is and what we are getting. We really don't have to make up our minds and figure that out as we have with newer, national candidates.
And, as Rush Limbaugh mentioned yesterday, Romney really has yet to go through any real scrutiny. It doesn't seem he will get it from Gingrich in debates, but Gingrich isn't hesitating (as the CBS debate moderators tried to goad them to do in the debate), what he said on talk radio and TV ads.
If Perry never re-surges, he has been critical in his initial ads about Romney exposing Mitt's radical left stances on global warming cap and trade and his declaration to NARAL and far left interest groups that he would act as a stealth candidate to "moderate" the Republican party.
In any event, unlike Bachmann, Cain and Perry, the chances of a "smoking gun" as Newt is already a national figure, having been fully vetted in previous races. The country has already digested the worst about Newt - these aren't "new" revelations. And as importantly with his last experience of being called "the Grinch that stole Christmas" and worse, he is undeterred by attacks and actually quite skillful in his own defense from decades of practice.
As Dick Morris said, the only player who really has a chance to challenge Newt now is Bachmann in a higher profile of the budget debate and if she should choose to finally start highlighting the darker Obama issues which have buried by everyone but Trump.