Obviously a lot can change between now and 2012, but at this juncture, Newt Gingrich is not quite a Tier 1 GOP candidate. To move into the upper echelon of Republican contenders, Gingrich has to overcome his own personal baggage, his Beltway insider label and his perceived polarizing demeanor. Gingrich is making inroads in Iowa to rehabilitate his image by getting out on the stump and raising money for local candidates. If Gingrich makes a good showing in the Iowa caucuses, he will become a frontline contender. After Iowa, the question for Gingrich will be: Can he convince primary voters in other states that he is indeed a changed man?
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