GOP Operatives in Primary States Weigh Gingrich Effect

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 12:48 PM

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As former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gears up to announce that he plans to jump into the race for the Republican presidential nomination, GOP operatives in early primary states are assessing how his entry could change the wide-open field. Gingrich has considerable name recognition, but that alone won’t carry him to getting the GOP nod, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Newt Gingrich, primary, GOP, RepublicansSome national polls have him near the top of the crowded pack of expected Republican candidates. Still, he has work to do in New Hampshire, a crucial early primary state. And he should improve his chances in the state as the campaign kicks into high gear, analysts said.

“Mitt Romney has to be considered the front-runner, but I do see others starting to gain ground and inroads,’’ said Jack Kimball, the newly elected GOP chairman in New Hampshire. “And I think Newt Gingrich is a candidate who will certainly have an effect on the numbers.’’

The tea party movement in the Granite State could be a difference maker. Andrew Hemingway, a tea party activist who is chairman of the state’s Republican Liberty Caucus, recently met with Gingrich.
“Once he gets going, his message will be very appealing to tea party folks and conservatives generally,’’ Hemingway said.

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