I seems as though Newt Gingrich's sudden rise in the polls has the attention of the Romney campaign. Their previous strategy seemed predicated on conceding Iowa to either Bachmann, Cain, or Perry - knowing full well that he would have an enormous advantage in New Hampshire, Florida, Michigan, and Nevada. While he still has the upper hand in the majority of those states, Newt's emergence has caused a change of strategy. They're clearly concerned with the prospect of Gingrich leaving Iowa with momentum heading into South Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire and Florida. Consequently, Romney is throwing a few more chips on Iowa.
Political commentators and election watchers can be forgiven for glancing at the latest evidence of the Newt Gingrich “surge” and wondering whether and why it deserves any more credibility than previous “bubbles.” The answer is: this is the first one that seemingly has made presumptive frontrunner Mitt Romney adjust his strategy......Read the entire article HERE
Today’s Gallup poll has Gingrich within one point of Romney among all Republicans polled and up by one point among registered GOP voters nationally. This is consistent with what other recent polls have found. But whereas the early Rick Perry surge didn’t distract Romney from his set strategy, and the former Massachusetts governor barely even acknowledged Herman Cain’s presence at the top of the polls last month, Romney has now made his first truly discernable and consequential course change of the election season:
Mr. Romney, who has been cautiously calibrating expectations about his chances in a state full of social conservatives, is now playing to win the Iowa caucuses. Television commercials are on the way, volunteers are arriving and a stealth operation is ready to burst into view in the weeks leading up to the caucuses, the first Republican nominating contest, on Jan. 3.(...)
The escalation of his effort in Iowa, along with a more aggressive schedule in New Hampshire and an expanding presence in South Carolina, is the strongest indication yet that Mr. Romney is shifting from a defensive, make-no-mistakes crouch to an assertive offensive strategy. If he can take command in the three early-voting states, he could make the nominating battle a swift one.
But even with his built-in limitations, Gingrich–a good debater and formidable personality with the battle scars of a political survivor–seems to have made Romney nervous. And in the process, Gingrich has put the focus back on Iowa.