"Conservative Void: Republicans around the country are now talking about the possibility that a conservative candidate outside the big three could suddenly catch fire and suck support away from both the frontrunners and several of the minor candidates. A push poll for the 2008 Iowa presidential caucuses is instructive on the reality of conservative discontent with the current "big three" GOP candidates. The poll gives Sen. John McCain 20.5 percent, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani 16.3 percent, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 3.5 percent. The candidate for whom the push-poll was conducted, former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore (R), leads them all with 31 percent.
This is not legitimate survey, of course -- it's a "push poll" that tells respondents positive and negative things about various candidates. The pollster peppered respondents with tales of the liberal deviations by McCain, Giuliani and Romney, and the true-blue conservatism of Gilmore. But it proves a point that is widely accepted in Republican ranks: None of the "big three" is a natural fit for the nation's right-of-center party. A conservative void unquestionably exists. The question is whether there is anyone who can fill the void.
The name usually mentioned as the void-filler is not Gilmore but Newt Gingrich. A straw poll by the right-wing Citizens United organization of contributors to its political fund showed Gingrich ahead with 31 percent (followed by Giuliani at 25 percent, Romney at 10 percent and McCain at 8 percent)."
The report follows up with "But based on his record as speaker of the House, Gingrich's conservative record is far from flawless." -- without giving details of the "flaws" Gingrich demonstrated.
During the debate between Gingrich and Mario Cuomo Wednesday night (Feb 28), Cuomo, in response to a question from the moderator, named Gingrich as the best candidate for the Republican nomination. "Intelligent, experienced, and a great debater."