With perfect timing, Newt Gingrich's insurgent GOP presidential campaign is starting to hit on all cylinders, bolstered by a huge influx of new donations, new staffers in early primary and caucus states, and polls that show his first major surge.
"So much for sneaking up on the front-runners," said spokesman R.C. Hammond. "Now, it is inevitable: 2012 is the year of the solutions candidate." [ Who's in and who's out: See a slide show of the 2012 GOP contenders.]
Donors, volunteers, and voters seem to agree as Gingrich has taken advantage of the slide by Rick Perry and Herman Cain and Mitt Romney's inability to build on his front-runner status.
First donations. Officials say that he has seen a big boost in contributions, for the first time giving Gingrich the ability to hire new staff and expand his presence in Iowa and South Carolina. "This week is the strongest fundraising week of the campaign," said Hammond. "We're contenders now," he added, quoting the movie Major League. [ Read Robert Schlesinger: When Cain's Not Able, Will Gingrich Be Next in Line?]
In Iowa, for example, Gingrich is bringing on new staff to help him prepare for the January caucuses. Having staff there is critical to both organizing for and getting supporters to the caucus vote. GOP officials say a strong Gingrich second or surprise first in Iowa could propel him into the front. Gingrich plans three days of campaigning in Iowa starting Monday.
He is also opening his South Carolina headquarters this weekend, a huge step in working the first southern primary.
Gingrich is also finally seeing a surge in polling. A CBS poll out today has him tied with Mitt Romney for second place and only three percentage points behind Cain, who is fading in the network's polling.
An E-mail from campaign manager Michael Krull to supporters also revealed other polling and staffing changes that Gingrich hopes to capitalize on. In it, he wrote:
A poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers this week has Newt surging ahead of Mitt Romney by three points! This is especially important news because the media forces that are terrified of this campaign have been saying that while Speaker Gingrich has steadily risen in the national polls, it didn't matter because he remained behind in the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
The good news, however, does not end in Iowa. In South Carolina, we saw this headline out of CNN: "Gingrich Amasses Largest South Carolina Campaign Footprint." Our staff in South Carolina now includes nine incredibly talented professionals, and we will also be opening offices across the Palmetto State, starting Saturday with the grand opening of our headquarters in Greenville.
With less than 60 days until the first votes are cast, the path to victory is clear. First, we know that we can count on Newt to win voters with masterful debate performances and substantive speeches. Second, we need to build strong campaign organizations in each of the early primary states to capitalize on Newt's winning message. Building those winning campaign organizations takes resources, and that is why our fundraising push to raise ONE MILLION DOLLARS this week is so important.
In just the first three days we have raised nearly $300,000 towards our one million dollar goal.
- Check out a slide show of GOP spouses on the 2012 campaign trail.
- Who's in and who's out: See a slide show of the 2012 GOP contenders.
- Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP candidates.