The Gingrich Surge!

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 29 2011 2:09 PM

The Gingrich Surge!

121027632
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

What's the best part of this Paul Bedard item? Is it the title, "Newt Gingrich Could Be the New 'Comeback Kid'?'" The conditional tense is a magical thing -- I could write a headline like "Worldwide Pandemic Could Make Buddy Roemer the GOP Nominee, If He Happens to Be the Only Candidate With An Immunity," and it would be exactly as accurate as Bedard's hed. Is it the fact that the evidence for the Gingrich surge is a quote from a "GOP analyst"? What does that even mean? Does this source write psychological profiles of Republicans? I checked with a random GOP source of my own, just to see if I could get an anonymous quote about this article.

It's far fetched bordering on comical. Operationally, how does the guy raise the money to run a campaign?
Advertisement

Perhaps the best part is Gingrich's spin for how he's going to "come back" -- keeping in mind he has never been the frontrunner.

The Gingrich surge is seen in some polls. In Missouri and Louisiana, for example, he is fourth behind Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rep. Michele Bachmann.

"The general response to the campaign has gone up significantly since [the Iowa debate]," says Gingrich. "There's been somewhat of an uptick in polling numbers, not gigantic yet, but starting us back on the road to building a unique case.

Gingrich doesn't cite which polls give him a statistically significant uptick (hint: none), but Bedard says he's in fourth place in Missouri and Louisiana. The polls that indicate that are WPA Research surveys from earlier in August. In Missouri, Romney leads with 25 percent, Perry is next with 22 percent, and Bachmann comes third at 13 percent. Gingrich has 7 percent. In Louisiana, it's Perry at 30 percent, Bachmann at 16 percent, Romney at 15 percent, and Gingrich at 9 percent.

So: Has he surged? No. These are the first WPA polls we've seen, and not many organizations are polling states that play less of a role in the nomination process. But in May, a Public Policy Polling survey had Gingrich at 10 percent in Missouri, down from 19 percent. He surged from 10 percent to 7 percent! My conclusion: Buy Newt on InTrade. But only do so if you convince yourself that when a man known to almost all GOP primary voters is polling in single digits, it's because he's about to stage a surge.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse

Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 23 2014 1:51 PM Is This the ISIS Backlash We've Been Waiting For?
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 23 2014 11:51 AM It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 23 2014 1:34 PM Leave Me Be Beneath a Tree: Trunyan Cemetery in Bali
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 23 2014 1:46 PM The Real Secret of Serial Has Sarah Koenig made up her mind yet? 
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.