Now, however, 39 percent of GOP primary voters nationally see Gingrich as the strongest candidate, while just 37 percent still say it of Romney. The former Massachusetts governor may look like the better candidate on paper, but many Republicans have watched Gingrich's debate performances and concluded that he will be more effective on the campaign trail. Whether or not that's an accurate perception, Gingrich's surge in the polls will last as long as a sizable number of Republicans believes it to be true.
The roller-coaster nature of the Republican race stems from the fact that none of the candidates has closed the sale when it comes to convincing voters they can win in November. Perhaps tired of waiting, 33 percent of GOP voters now feel it would be good for a new candidate to jump into the presidential race.