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Newt Gingrich gains steam in GOP race as Mitt Romney, Rick Perry continue to feud

October 19, 2011

By Brandon Reid
Assistant Editor

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich seems to be gaining some momentum in the race for his party’s nomination for president following an Oct. 18 GOP debate in Las Vegas.

Although polls have shown Gingrich trailing well behind the frontrunners in the race, his performance in the Oct. 18 debate could help revive his struggling campaign.

Seven candidates participated in the debate, many taking shots at frontrunners former Chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza Herman Cain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Particularly, while Romney and Perry continued their ongoing shouting match and finger-pointing contest, voters seemed to be searching for a more level head among the candidates.

As recently as Oct. 12, an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showed Cain had taken the lead in the polls following an Oct. 11 debate in which his “9-9-9” plan to overhaul the federal tax code overshadowed the Romney-Perry feud.

In that poll, Cain had 27 percent, Romney 23 percent, Perry 16 percent, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) 11 percent, Gingrich 8 percent, U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) 5 percent, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman 3 percent and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) 1 percent.

Online political pundits have suggested Gingrich might have positioned himself for a rise in the polls following the Oct. 18 debate.

According to an Oct. 19 Politico report by Juana Summers, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey declared Perry the victor in the Romney-Perry feud, but suggested Gingrich may have won the overall debate.

Morrissey said, “The real winner might be Newt Gingrich, who despite having one bad moment with Romney on the health care mandate once again came out looking positive, well-informed and fit for battle.”

Meantime, according to the Politico report, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who appeared with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren after the debate, said Gingrich rose above the contenders by avoiding the finger-pointing battle. She also maintained Gingrich would “clobber Barack Obama in a debate.”

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