Gingrich — who has mostly lived in Northern Virginia since resigning his Georgia House seat in early 1999 — is surging in national and early state polls on the strength of support from tea party activists and grass-roots conservatives, with whom he has maintained strong, personal connections since leading Republicans to their 1994 House takeover.
Recent polls have shown the former 20-year Congressman ahead in Florida, Iowa and South Carolina and second to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.
Of course, Gingrich did not become the current favorite until others, such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain, flamed out after top-tier polling.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.