Gingrich’s entry to the top tier of the GOP Presidential field turns the up-and-down political road to the nomination into a two-man race with backbenchers Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman jockeying for distant third and fourth place.
Gingrich sees the new numbers as proof that he will be the nominee.
“I will be the Republican nominee,” he declared Thursday.
Romney, long the dominant front runner, has dropped below 50 percent while Gingrich has surged to nearly 40 percent.
Romney still leads in New Hampshire but his once-dominant lead is shrinking. Gingrich is leading by large margins in Iowa and South Carolina and has pulled ahead of Romney in Florida.
With his poll numbers riding high, Gingrich’s already-high level is confidence is growing. In an interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper Thursday, Gingrich said:
I’m going to be the nominee. It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee. And by the way I don’t object if people want to attack me, that’s their right. All I’m suggesting that it’s not going to be very effective and that people are going to get sick of it very fast. And the guys who attacked each other in the debates up to now, every single one of them have lost ground by attacking. So they should do what they and their consultants want to do. I will focus on being substantive and I will focus on Barack Obama.