Newtmentum spreading to the south

posted at 4:00 pm on December 11, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Two new NBC News/Marist polls just released after the last debate should be giving fans of the former Speaker of the House even more reason to be filled with Christmas cheer. (H/T to OTB) While you’ll need to keep your eyes on the numbers in Iowa and New Hampshire, Newt is also making some big moves in two states voting close on their heels.

According to new NBC News-Marist polls, the former House speaker has now opened up commanding leads in South Carolina and Florida — two states that historically have played important roles in deciding the eventual Republican nominee.

Fueled by the support from conservatives and the Tea Party, Gingrich is ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by nearly 20 points in South Carolina. The winner of that state’s primary has gone on to capture each GOP nomination since 1980.

And he leads Romney by double digits in Florida, whose primary ultimately ended up deciding the party’s pick in 2008.

“You can see why the Romney people are getting a little itchy,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion, referring to the Romney campaign’s recent attacks on Gingrich.

In South Carolina, Gingrich comes in riding high at 42 points. (All the more amazing since he was at seven there in the same poll in October.) Mitt drops five points to 23 and everyone else is in single digits. (Here are the full results if you care to pore through them.)

Meanwhile, in Florida, (voting a week after the Palmetto State) Newt has seen an equally meteoric rise. He’s jumped up from six in October to 44 this week.Romney drops almost the same amount he did in South Carolina and comes in at 29. Again, there’s nobody else in serious contention. (The full Florida numbers.)

Perhaps the most interesting nugget in the cross tabs is the extremely heavy Tea Party support which Newt is channeling. This is a group which traditionally has been targeted for candidates who are “Washington outsiders” and/or “real social conservatives.” Both the media and Newt’s many critics have certainly tried to paint Gingrich as being anything but – in both categories – but it doesn’t seem to have had any effect. Among self-identifying Tea Party voters, Newt is getting more than 50% support as their first choice.

If these numbers manage to hold through the holidays, Mitt Romney has a lot to worry about. If Newt can string together wins in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida and even come up with a strong second in New Hampshire, Romney could be out of this thing before we even get to Super Tuesday.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Speak for yourself. My tea party group, about 60 members, can’t stand Newt and doesn’t relish the thought of blanket amnesty.

TxAnn56 on December 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM

I want to be part of your group!

upinak on December 11, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Look for Santorum to get a bump from the debate and recent positive coverage. I think we have one more surprise left prior to Iowa…Newt keeping high numbers but Santorum rising. The more Newt jumps ahead in the polls the more I see Palin throwing praise Santorum’s way to keep things closer…and give TP voters more to think about.

Deep Timber on December 11, 2011 at 6:51 PM

I never liked Old Newt. But if the New Newt keeps showing up as a jovial Father Christmas with a wit, then we will all have to take a chance and support Mr New Newt.

Romney is a complete unknown. He is still Mr Cardboard Man.

It is too late to switch to a Bush or Bush friends. Those guys were not willing to fight Obama and just want Obama to defeat Romney in 2012 to leave the door wide open for them in 2016.

jimw on December 11, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Pawlenty must be hitting himself for dropping out so early.

haner on December 11, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Nominate Newt and you’ve guaranteed another four years of Obama. Dukeboy01 on December 11, 2011 at 6:19 PM

These lazy one-liners are so, well, lazy. Who do you think they impress or persuade? Prove it. Back it up. Make a political/electoral argument why Obama is “guaranteed another four years” if Gingrich runs.

rrpjr on December 11, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Romney is a complete unknown.

jimw on December 11, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Huh?

Mitt is many things, unknown is not one of them.

turfmann on December 11, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Speak for yourself. My tea party group, about 60 members, can’t stand Newt and doesn’t relish the thought of blanket amnesty.

TxAnn56 on December 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Point taken. I was extrapolating from my personal experiences with people from about half a dozen tea parties. And the reason why my extrapolation doesn’t matter (notwithstanding your comment) is that I was speaking to libs.

platypus on December 11, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Speak for yourself. My tea party group, about 60 members, can’t stand Newt and doesn’t relish the thought of blanket amnesty.

TxAnn56 on December 11, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Well I guess so! Let me guess, your candidate is Perry. Another guess. You’re in Texas.

Gee! That was difficult./

Vince on December 11, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Vince on December 11, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Oh well. That formatting just blew all the sarcasm out of that comment.

Vince on December 11, 2011 at 7:25 PM

These lazy one-liners are so, well, lazy. Who do you think they impress or persuade?

rrpjr on December 11, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Paul-bots.

RobertInLexington on December 11, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Look for Santorum to get a bump from the debate and recent positive coverage. I think we have one more surprise left prior to Iowa…Newt keeping high numbers but Santorum rising. The more Newt jumps ahead in the polls the more I see Palin throwing praise Santorum’s way to keep things closer…and give TP voters more to think about.

Deep Timber on December 11, 2011 at 6:51 PM

I don’t see Santorum going anywhere and Palin’s endorsements mean little to me at this point. Santorum problem is that he lacks gravitas and was too clubby with his fellow Senators (Arlen Specter being one of ‘em.) He also gets whiny and obnoxious when he makes the attempt of acting tough.

Punchenko on December 11, 2011 at 7:51 PM

First contribution. Curious to see if any of the MSM outlets pick up on this tomorrow.

fredebearak on December 11, 2011 at 8:00 PM

I’m with Punchenko on Santorum – he just comes off awkardly. As far as Newt I’ve always been skeptical of him, but I’m starting to think that he is the only one that will show up and fight. It’s either Romney, who won’t take Obama on like McCain, or it’s Newt who will take Obama on, and then we roll the dice on how he governs. I wouldn’t mind Romney governing, but I just don’t think he will get into office to show us what he could do.

Stray Cat on December 11, 2011 at 8:11 PM

I’m with you on that one stray cat. Romney wont fight for it. Atleast Newt will take it to Obummer. If our nominee dosnt take it to this prick, we dont stand a chance. Newt has his problems, but atleast he lovet this country. That cant be said for the current occupier-n-chief.

txdonboy on December 11, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Newton’s Law and Rules!!

Sherman1864 on December 11, 2011 at 8:44 PM

What Newt is advocating is NOT amnesty. Residency is not citizenship. And anybody who says they’re going to deport 30 million people is just plain full of crap.

DocinPA on December 11, 2011 at 9:05 PM

When Newt takes it to Obambi, he is also taking it to liberalism.

mockmook on December 11, 2011 at 9:11 PM

The biggest problems facing our nation have nothing to do with illegal immigration. In fact illegal immigration tanks as our economy does. Only when our economy is booming is our country a magnet. I also think some people just have a mental blockage because people enter the country illegally. It’s like nothing the person does afterwards counts. But none of those people has ever had to make the choice of leaving the country of their birth, and possibly a family behind, to try to find a better life elsewhere. We’re all very fortunate to have been born here. I’m especially so as my parents came from Cuba. Yes, they came legally but that’s only because Cuba is seen as a special case. I know I’ll get ripped for this but I don’t care. I’m as conservative as they come but I just don’t think most people have thought the issue through.

eaglephin on December 11, 2011 at 9:23 PM

When Newt takes it to Obambi, he is also taking it to liberalism.
mockmook on December 11, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Yes. As Dennis Prager says, he won’t be running against Obama — he’ll be running against the entire institutional Left. Only warriors need apply.

rrpjr on December 11, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Which candidate is the most likely to actually run even the slightest bit to the right of McCain in 2008 and Dole in 1996 after the nomination?

Because we already saw what happened to those guys, and it doesn’t work. I’m starting to have my doubts any of them will, and based on past history I’m nervous that many of them would likely run to the center-left like McCain did in the fall of ’08.

If we put up a nominee that has more policies, inclinations, and instincts in common with BHO than not, then BHO is going to win re-election. Regarding the general electorate: Why vote for dem-lite when full dem is available?

One of these candidates has to commit to making and keeping vast distinctions in ideas and proposals from those of BHO.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on December 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM

The biggest problems facing our nation have nothing to do with illegal immigration. In fact illegal immigration tanks as our economy does. Only when our economy is booming is our country a magnet. I also think some people just have a mental blockage because people enter the country illegally. It’s like nothing the person does afterwards counts. But none of those people has ever had to make the choice of leaving the country of their birth, and possibly a family behind, to try to find a better life elsewhere. We’re all very fortunate to have been born here. I’m especially so as my parents came from Cuba. Yes, they came legally but that’s only because Cuba is seen as a special case. I know I’ll get ripped for this but I don’t care. I’m as conservative as they come but I just don’t think most people have thought the issue through.

eaglephin on December 11, 2011 at 9:23 PM

It is hard, you obviously do not understand the concept of ownership.

While it is fortunate that we have been born here, freedom is not a genetic feature that is passed down from generation to generation. The current generations in power owe it to the next generation to defend the nation against invasion.

astonerii on December 11, 2011 at 10:04 PM

This clister f helps expose everybody for who and what they are.

platypus on December 11, 2011 at 5:37 PM

The way I see it we all want the same thing, to fire the current administration. The issue is we disagree on which candidate will best succeed in this endeavor.

I, personally, don’t believe the hype that a ham sandwich can beat Obummer. I don’t think people are giving enough credit to the Chicago machine. This is not going to be a cakewalk. The Union thugs, ACORN, dead people, etc. are all going to be out in force trying to get BO re-elected. While we are fighting each other, they are preparing their army.

It doesn’t help that our own party will try to sabotage our nominee, unless it’s Romney. I believe that the establishment republicans would rather lose the election than let us make our own choice as to who best represents our interests.

If we are going to save this country, we have to pull together against both the Progressives and the establishment repubs. So far, that isn’t happening. I’m sure the dims are sitting back and watching gleefully as we all tear each other, and the candidates, apart. Vetting is one thing, destroying is another matter altogether.

I’m not getting the warm fuzzies about the upcoming election. By the time the primaries are over our candate will be that much weaker because of this debacle.

I think I’ll go drink now….

daddysgirl on December 11, 2011 at 10:10 PM

If I’ve learned anything this past month or so is that Mitt Romney has a glass jaw. He does not handle tough questions well at all, becoming testy and rambling when pressed hard. Honestly, I think Mitt would wilt like 2008 Detroit Lions in the general election.

But it still bothers me to think that we could have done better than either of those two statist yutzes at any point between the 2010 elections and now. The system is rigged to keep good candidates out.

gryphon202 on December 11, 2011 at 5:11 PM

How so? There was nothing keeping Palin or Jindal or any other strong conservative from running.

holygoat on December 11, 2011 at 10:22 PM

The Republican party has become suicidal. Newt Gingrich? The same guy who was run out of town after only four years as Speaker? The only folks who were sad to see him go back then were the Democratic minority. To defeat Gingrich in 2012 will not require the Democrats having to write a new playbook. They only have to dust off the old one. A plurality of GOP voters not only have amnesia, they have gone completely nuts.

kurtd on December 11, 2011 at 10:49 PM

These lazy one-liners are so, well, lazy. Who do you think they impress or persuade? Prove it. Back it up. Make a political/electoral argument why Obama is “guaranteed another four years” if Gingrich runs.

rrpjr on December 11, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Because there are a slew of fiscally conservative, socially liberal independents, like me, who have no interest in voting for the Newtster. I’ll never understand why the GOP has to interject social issues into the nomination when its a sure fire way to throw the general election.

Bandit13 on December 11, 2011 at 10:59 PM

Newt Gingrich is a Trojan Horse liberal posing as a conservative gift.

MaiDee on December 11, 2011 at 11:40 PM

How so? There was nothing keeping Palin or Jindal or any other strong conservative from running.

holygoat on December 11, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Then how come they didn’t? It doesn’t get any more “insider” this time than the two supposedly odds-on favorites. Really, when was the last time a dark horse candidate thumping the constitution for a platform won the party’s nomination, let alone went all the way? 1980? It sure as shit wasn’t 1968. And for all the hard work “conservatives” have done, how did we get to this point? Do you really believe that Newt or Mitt will make a difference in any meaningful way? I don’t.

gryphon202 on December 11, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Newt is doing well because he doesn’t mind taking the hits. Of all who are in this field right now Newt IS the best. He is very impressive with his years of experience, knowledge and wisdom and one whom for sure will knock that a-hole Barry off any debate stage.

This is the beginning to get America back in America.

auspatriotman on December 12, 2011 at 12:37 AM

Newt is doing well because he doesn’t mind taking the hits. Of all who are in this field right now Newt IS the best. He is very impressive with his years of experience, knowledge and wisdom and one whom for sure will knock that a-hole Barry off any debate stage.

This is the beginning to get America back in America.

auspatriotman on December 12, 2011 at 12:37 AM

I wish I could believe that. I really do. But as has been the case throughout most of my lifetime, the nomination will go to the #1 bullshitter. Nothing is going to change.

gryphon202 on December 12, 2011 at 1:08 AM

I’m baffled by Newt’s rise in the polls. His negative charisma with women is off the charts. If the GOP nominates him, I feel certain we will have four more years of Obama.

imaskeptic on December 12, 2011 at 2:10 AM

Looking at the breakdowns of Newt’s North Carolina numbers I thought it was interesting to see what the male / female breakdown was.

He dominates the poll and the numbers are: 48 male / 52 females.

It doesn’t look like he has a problem with women.

Jocelyn on December 12, 2011 at 4:30 AM

I’m baffled by Newt’s rise in the polls. His negative charisma with women is off the charts. If the GOP nominates him, I feel certain we will have four more years of Obama.

imaskeptic on December 12, 2011 at 2:10 AM

I agree. I also doubt these polls. While the attention by the pundits is on the “Bet,” I think most people saw the arrogance of Gingrich Saturday, not to mention the crazy winking.

tbrickert on December 12, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Newt is going to corner the evangelical vote. Perry blew it by playing the infidelity card on Newt because he has already stated he did the repentance steps that evangelicals love to hear.

An evangelical will stand next to a reformed sinner sooner than stand with someone who has never fallen. Something about that old tale of the Messiah sitting down with sinners really gets ‘em in the heart.

platypus on December 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM

I think like many conservatives, none of us love the candidates we have to pick from this time. (again) I was hoping Paul Ryan would run or someone else who is a solid conservative. It will be another nose holder I think. The candidates lead has changed hands a few times now. Newt’s surge this late in the game is going to be hard to overcome. I still can’t believe he’s the front runner. Then again I couldn’t beleive we ended up with McCain either. It looks like the GOP is looking for anyone other than Romney. To his supporters, Sorry, he just doesn’t have it. Newt. Meh. But he;s still better than Romney. Of course those like me can stay mad, take our ball and go home and end up with Obama V 2.1. I’ll vote for Newt with tepid support, hoping we can get the senate back and reverse some of Barry’s horrid decisisons. I don’t think we can wait another 4 years for a better candidate for a chance to get rid of Barry.

Minnfidel on December 12, 2011 at 10:58 AM

I love how the media/polling organizations have now shifted to painting Gingrich as the defacto nominee through this polls that will be proved once again to mean nothing.

I am willing to bet $10,000 ‘Mitt dollars’ that Gingrich’s so-called huge leads will collapse after Iowa when he seriously underperforms the polls.

Polls do not trump organization and many are about to find that out.

And another inconvenient fact: Dems are dying to have Newt as the nominee because unlike the so-called Tea Partiers in love with Newt, the rest of the country confronts reality and will never vote in the Don of Washington Insiders.

TheRightMan on December 12, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Newt is going to corner the evangelical vote. Perry blew it by playing the infidelity card on Newt because he has already stated he did the repentance steps that evangelicals love to hear.

platypus on December 12, 2011 at 10:43 AM

We shall see about that. Newt’s support is way overblown and many of you are about to find that out.

There is a reason why hyped frontrunners mostly never end up as the nominee.

TheRightMan on December 12, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Nominate Newt and you’ve guaranteed another four years of Obama. Dukeboy01 on December 11, 2011 at 6:19 PM

These lazy one-liners are so, well, lazy. Who do you think they impress or persuade? Prove it. Back it up. Make a political/electoral argument why Obama is “guaranteed another four years” if Gingrich runs.

rrpjr on December 11, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Because Gingrich loses all the swing states to Obama as his past catches up to him and his campaign falls apart due to lack of proper organization.

TheRightMan on December 12, 2011 at 11:12 AM

I love how the media/polling organizations have now shifted to painting Gingrich as the defacto nominee through this polls that will be proved once again to mean nothing.

I am willing to bet $10,000 ‘Mitt dollars’ that Gingrich’s so-called huge leads will collapse after Iowa when he seriously underperforms the polls.

Polls do not trump organization and many are about to find that out.

And another inconvenient fact: Dems are dying to have Newt as the nominee because unlike the so-called Tea Partiers in love with Newt, the rest of the country confronts reality and will never vote in the Don of Washington Insiders.

TheRightMan on December 12, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I serious doubt that Newt is going to see a collapse in his polls numbers the way Rick Perry did shortly after he entered the race in the number one position. He’s too intelligent and experienced to all of a sudden become a gaffe-machine.

With respect to who Dems would like us to nominate, I think they wouldn’t mind at all running against another tongue-tied, swaggering Governor of Texas. The last one of those remains mighty unpopular.

Reggie1971 on December 12, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Newt Gingrich is a Trojan Horse liberal posing as a conservative gift.

MaiDee on December 11, 2011 at 11:40 PM

You can back that up with evidence?

He tried to stop Bush I from reneging on his Read My Lips Pledge, we almost certainly never would have had Clinton in that case.

He wrote the contract with America and regained the House of Representatives for the Republican for the first time in over two generations 40 years… He then went on to get welfare reform through and balance the budget 4 times.

So, what is your evidence?

astonerii on December 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I’m convinced that Newt’s popularity and rise in the polls is not a temporary, “flavor of the week” ordeal; rather, this represents a legitimate, sustained momentum of the electorate that will soon translate into a huge landslide for Newt.

jfs756 on December 12, 2011 at 12:31 PM

What we need is for Karl Rove to endorse Newt.

Igor R. on December 11, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Igor….ahh….now your catching on!!! Rove would knock 10% points off of Newts poll numbers if he did. Problem is….(which is good) he won’t. Romney is a GOP fav. Bachman…he would NEVER…and Perry…humm..maybe. Newt is to run as far away from Rove’s or any other Establishment pundit’s endorsement like Kristol’s as well. Run Newt Run!!!!

coach1228 on December 12, 2011 at 12:52 PM

If Newt were to consult with former Enron consultant and Nobel Prize for Economics winner, Paul Krugman, to see how he managed to argue away any damage from his former employer who went “financially unstable,” Enron. He would tells Newt that he should say that they were handing out money and that he would be a fool to turn it down. Hey, who wants a fool for a President ?

J_Crater on December 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Newt is a FDR and Andy Stern fan – God help us. I wish Santorum would grab some traction.

TacomaNWTF on December 13, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3