This was so seven months ago so of course nobody remembers reading this breathless epic penned by Newt Gingrich's press secretary, Rick Tyler, so here's a refresher:
Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.”
Everybody had a collective laugh at Tyler's words at the time but it now appears to have been a prescient statement as the Republican primaries will finally commence in less than a month with the Iowa caucus and Gingrich is poised as a legitimate front-runner. And as with all things serious and bold in our new American century, Gingrich appears ready to make it Facebook-official as he has amassed over 12,000 new fans on his Facebook page in just the past seven days. While that's still far behind from his Republican rivals - Mitt Romney has a towering 1.2 million Facebook fans - Gingrich has demonstrated that he doesn't really require the standard accoutrements typical of a succeeding presidential campaign. And of course such an accomplishment seems to only bolster Gingrich's approval of Gingrich:
Accompanying the news of Gingrich's surge in popularity, All Facebook provided a handy line graph to detail the swell of fans that have Liked the candidate's official page:
All Facebook goes on to explain, "Newt Gingrich is running away from the other candidates on Twitter, with more than 1.3 million followers. And Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have the most Facebook fans among the GOP presidential hopefuls, and they follow Gingrich in the latest poll." It's true, too: Romney comes in at a distant second to Gingrich on Twitter with about 188,000 followers. With Herman Cain bowing out of the race (albeit was labeled a "suspension" of his campaign), Gingrich would appear to only continue to make significant gains in popularity as he collects former Cain supporters.
Of course, now we look to Twitter to unscientifically corroborate Gingrich's swing in popularity.
Gingrich isn't just rising- Romney is really falling. Down 13 pts from our last FL poll, 11 pts from our last MT poll.
Seems pretty exciting, but after seeing the popularity of so many Republican primary candidates wax and wane like phases of the moon, it remains to be seen if Gingrich can actually sustain this momentum (he should probably be sending a pretty sweet Christmas card to Cain in a couple of weeks, too). Either way, Gingrich's Twitter followers are huge so now the issue begs the question: is Twitter the new metric with which we measure a candidate's election odds (or the popularity of anything, for that matter)? Has the Newtation of this election cycle officially commenced?