Jackie Gingrich Cushman

This Tuesday, Public Policy Polling released its take on the recent move in polls: "Is the new Republican frontrunner Herman Cain? Maybe for this week, anyway. PPP polled Republican primary voters in three pretty different states over the weekend -- North Carolina, Nebraska and West Virginia -- and found Cain leading the way in each of them, as Gingrich surged, Romney stayed steady and Perry saw a collapse in his support. ...

"This most conservative group of Republican voters has been shopping for a candidate all year. They've gone from (former Arkansas Gov. Mike) Huckabee to (real estate mogul Donald) Trump back to Huckabee to Bachmann to Perry and now to Cain. I would expect their support for Cain to be pretty temporary. One thing that's been very clear through all these twists and turns, though -- they're not going to support Romney. ...

"Even more surprising than Cain's leading all three of these polls might be Gingrich's finishing second in each of them ... and where his support is coming from. In both Nebraska (21-15 over Cain) and North Carolina (27-18 over Romney), he leads with moderates. Those voters have previously tended to give Romney first place status -- it really says something about the state of the Republican field when Newt Gingrich becomes the choice for centrists."

With Christie no longer throwing his hat into the ring, one might initially believe that the race will become more rote and less exciting. As a lifelong observer of politics, it's my bet that there will be many more surges and collapses before the nomination is secured -- very possibly leading all the way to the Republican Convention in Orlando, Fla., in late August of next year.

Hang on, it's going to be a wild ride.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.