Is Newt Gingrich gaining momentum in the 2012 election race? It certainly appears so. Gingrich had a stellar performance in the Monday night South Carolina debate earlier this week, and he is getting more and more attention from conservatives and moderates. Moderates like his positions on healthcare and his famous TV ad with Nancy Pelosi, and conservatives like his policies on balancing the budget. While the evangelicals are still uncomfortable with his moral background and three marriages, there is definitely growing support for Newt Gingrich.
The biggest question is whether Gingrich can survive the criticism from his remaining challengers. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul all figure to challenge him on his ethics and past judgment errors in the coming weeks and months. Santorum will argue that he is the most conservative candidate remaining, and he is probably right. Ron Paul will argue that he can stick to the constitutional laws more than any other candidate, and he is probably right about that too. Romney can argue that he is more conservative on religious issues despite the fact that he is a Mormon. While Christians are largely uncomfortable with his Mormon beliefs, they are even more unhappy with Gingrich and his infidelity issues.
Polls in recent days are showing that Gingrich may even be in the lead in South Carolina. He responded very well when he was asked about his marriage to his 2nd wife at the beginning of the 2nd South Caroline debate. Even under intense media scrutiny, he responded in a way that is sure to win him some votes moving forward.
As for the people who won’t vote for Gingrich because of his adultery, I don’t believe anything that Gingrich might say in the South Carolina debate would change their minds. Gingrich didn’t lose any votes by what he said because his opponents already won’t vote for him for ethical reasons.
Is Newt Gingrich gaining momentum in the GOP race? I believe that he is, and I believe other candidates are gaining momentum too against Romney. We’ll see what happens in South Carolina, Florida, and the other upcoming primary elections.