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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.