Newt may have dropped the ball in Virginia but seems to be the darling of the evangelical political elite... which hold a LOT of sway over their congregations/followers voting mentality. In the national polls Newt is still leading... RealClearPolitics - Election 2012 - 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination ...by a +3.4 lead over runner up Mitt Romney. While that may not be a substantial lead, the lead is at the borderline of the 'margin of error' so Newt's lead is a viable lead for sure. Newt's two major drawbacks seem to be Iowa where he has drifted into a 3rd place status... RealClearPolitics - Election 2012 - Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus ...but it's NOT a distant 3rd place status. The other drawback is New Hampshire where Mitt Romney holds a commanding if not devastating lead over Newt... RealClearPolitics - Election 2012 - New Hampshire Republican Presidential Primary The loss of one of these early states Newt could withstand, but the loss of both of them would be detrimental to his chances at best... especially after the Missouri debacle & now the Virginia fiasco. Newt places top tier in a landslide victory in bible belt states like South Carolina... RealClearPolitics - Election 2012 - South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary ...& like near a double digit lead over Romney in 2nd position in Florida. Could a strong showing in the bible belt states give Newt Gingrich enough momentum to take the following states & become the primary pick???