Pollster Frank Luntz said Tuesday former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has become a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination because — despite a lack of funds and a minimal organization — “he’s got [a] message.”
“Mitt Romney played it too safe . . . he didn't go out, he didn’t show passion, he didn’t show a commitment — he’s not been campaigning in Iowa and it’s having an impact on what people think,” Luntz told Fox News’ Sean Hannity. “Newt Gingrich doesn’t have advertising dollars — he’s only just started advertising in the last 48 hours — he doesn't have an organization; he doesn’t have a fundraising team and yet he’s got the most important thing of all: message — he's got [a] message — that's why he’s doing well.”
Hannity noted that previous GOP front-runners took significant heat when they topped the polls and wondered if Gingrich can “withstand the attacks that are coming.” Luntz said Gingrich’s performance in upcoming debates will be telling.
“For Newt Gingrich to secure that nomination, he has to demonstrate in those debates that he can take the heat of the moderators, the questionnaires, and his fellow candidates,” Luntz said. “Republicans don’t pay as much attention to the ads — even though they’re important. They’re watching these debates and watching the language behind them.
“Gingrich has begun to move up among those people in the center because they are looking for someone not just with ideas but with solutions,” he said. “And we’ve got to give Gingrich credit, in that intellectually, he’s always pushing the envelope, always trying harder to look deeper into some of these problems that we have and people in the center appreciate it.”
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