This weekend marked the departure of one candidate and confirmed the resurgence of another. The latest Des Moines Register Iowa shows Newt Gingrich is now the leading choice of likely Iowa Caucus-goers. During an interview with Radio Iowa last Thursday, Gingrich offered this explanation: “It’s the intersection of the debates and the times. This is a time when people are really worried and they’re really paying attention and the debates have helped them to see the candidates without editing.”
Gingrich was at 25 percent in the Register’s Iowa Poll followed by Ron Paul at 18 percent and Mitt Romney at 16 percent. Paul and others have started hammering Gingrich on a variety of fronts, including his past support of a health insurance mandate.
“Virtually every conservative was for it in 1993 to stop Hillary (Clinton) and gradually people reached a conclusion that it wasn’t workable and it was a bad idea,” Gingrich told Radio Iowa. “I don’t mind saying there are things I’ve learned over the last 53 years that I have changed my mind on.”
Sixty percent of the Iowans surveyed for the Register’s Iowa Poll said they were willing to change their minds and support another candidate on Caucus Night. The survey was taken before Herman Cain’s exit from the race on Saturday. Steve Grubbs was Cain’s Iowa campaign chairman.
“I guess I can’t say it was a surprise. My counsel would have been to stay the course and see it through,” Grubbs said Saturday during an interview with Radio Iowa. “Obviously he thought a different way.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be making his way to Iowa this week to campaign for Mitt Romney. On Saturday, a nationally-televised candidate debate will be staged at Drake University in Des Moines.