Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Newt Gingrich Wins Big in Minnesota Republican State Convention Straw Poll
In yet another sign that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) is planning to make a serious White House run in 2008, Gingrich scored a surprise first place finish in the straw ballot conducted at this weekend's Minnesota Republican State Convention.
540 convention delegates cast ballots. Gingrich was first with 40%, followed by US Senator George Allen (R-VA) at 15%, and US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Secretary of State Condi Rice (R-CA) tied at third with 10% apiece. The rest were far behind.
What is more interesting is that convention delegates all received a two-page letter that boasted "no one can articulate a Republican vision for America better" than Gingrich -- and it warned of "a significant risk that a moderate candidate will get the Republican nomination in 2008." The letter went on to attack McCain and former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, saying "between them they have supported tax hikes, free speech restrictions, amnesty for illegal immigrants, gay marriage and abortion."
The letter was signed by Republican National Committeeman Brian Sullivan, former State GOP Chair Chris Georgacas, former Republican National Committeeman Jack Meeks and several other leading Minnesota GOP activists. Former Congressman Vin Weber (R-MN) -- a close Gingrich ally -- also remains very influential in the Minnesota GOP.
If you had any doubt whether or not Gingrich is really running for President, those doubts should be gone now. With this solid win -- and with his close third finish in last month's Wisconsin GOP straw poll -- Gingrich has unexpectedly demonstrated he may still be a major candidate for the 2008 nomination.