Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has jumped to a five-point lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney among Virginia Republicans, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll
Gingrich leads Romney, 30 to 25 percent, while all other GOP presidential candidates are mired in single digits. In a head-to-head matchup, Gingrich leads Romney, 47 to 39 percent. However, Romney leads President Barack Obama among all Virginia voters, 44 to 42 percent, while Gingrich would lose to Obama, 46 to 41 percent.
"Speaker Newt Gingrich jumps into the lead among Virginia Republicans, but Gov. Mitt Romney's calling card is still that he seems to have a better chance of actually winning the White House if nominated," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "As is the case across the country, Gingrich has come out of nowhere. The last time Quinnipiac University surveyed Virginia Republicans, in October, Gingrich was getting just 7 percent. As other candidates fade, Romney's 21 percent climbs to 25 percent now."
However, Gingrich is not on the ballot in Virginia and has taken a break from campaigning in Iowa to head to the Old Dominion to help gather the necessary signatures, according to The Caucus blog in The New York Times
. He has scheduled two rallies in Virginia before Thursday’s filing deadline. The campaign must file 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot, and it is unclear how many it has so far.
“The challenge for us is to get the popular support organized fast enough,” the Times quoted Gingrich as saying in Iowa on Monday. His campaign just made the ballot deadline in Ohio, he said, adding that “we may barely make it Thursday in Virginia.”
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