Newt Gingrich is up, Herman Cain is out, and the attacks are getting sharper as the Republican primary campaign enters the final month before Iowa launches the contests that will choose the challenger to Barack Obama.

A new Des Moines Register Iowa Poll showed Gingrich, the provocative former House speaker, surging to the front of the field, at 25%. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney faded to third place behind Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

What’s more, supporters of Cain, who suspended his scandal-scarred campaign Saturday, were most inclined to cite Gingrich as their second choice.

His first-place status in the Hawkeye State and nationwide made Gingrich the target of attack from nearly everyone else — and is likely to raise the temperature at the candidates’ next televised debate, on Saturday in Des Moines.

Continue reading →