The current surge by former speaker Newt Gingrich puts him in strong contention to wrest the Republican Presidential nomination from previous frontrunner Mitt Romney. Gingrich is the "last man standing" among the candidates who were drawing from the pool of voters who will not support Romney.

Chris Keane / Reuters
To clinch the nomination, Gingrich must demonstrate he is a more mature and experienced statesman who has had time to reflect on the great issues facing America. He must be calm, disciplined and mellow. He must convince Republicans he can lead us to victory again. Whether the "New Newt" can survive over the next six weeks depends almost completely on the former speaker demonstrating tight personal and political discipline. The Gingrich campaign also faces numerous logistical problems. Gingrich failed to file for the Missouri primary and is playing catch up to ensure he does not miss other late state filing deadlines. Gingrich fundraising must also sharply improve and continue to rise on a sustained basis. Mitt Romney has both the money and the campaign structure for a prolonged fight for the GOP nomination. It is not clear at this juncture whether Gingrich can properly arm himself with money and organization for a prolonged struggle, but it is certainly possible. And ultimate victory despite fundraising challenges has a modern precedent: Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign had grave cash-flow problems. I know, my paychecks were weeks late. One possible scenario by which Romney could avert defeat in Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses is to urge his supporters to vote for Ron Paul, who is running either second or third in most Iowa Republican polls. My sources tell me this strategic option is on the table at Romney headquarters. Gingrich is likely to have greater staying power than Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry or Herman Cain, all of whom recently appeared to be Romney's major challenger in the until they saw their poll ratings tank. Newt has been a known commodity on the political scene since the 1980's and thus his support is deeper and substantially more intense then the previous "Not Romney" front runners. The NEWSMAX ION TV Debate scheduled for December 27 will command 100 Million households in primetime, a larger audience then Fox during those hours. Gingrich has wisely decided to take advantage of this opportunity. Trump's involvement guarantees massive ratings for the debate as he will draw viewership far beyond the confines of Republican Primary voters. Given Trump's generous appearance at a tele-town hall for Michelle Bachmann and her dropping poll ratings, it's hard to fathom why she declined the NEWSMAX-ION invitation. Recent polls show Gingrich has created a large enough pool of voters in Iowa to win that state's caucuses. Herman Cain's expected endorsement of Gingrich could bring the Gingrich campaign more substantial on-the-ground organization in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina where Cain organizer Mark Block had quietly put together strong grassroots organizations drawing heavily from Americans For Prosperity, the grassroots conservative organization funded by billionaires David and Charles Koch. As much as Iowans hate to admit it, their caucus, by virtue of much broader participation then in the 1970's and 1980's, has become more like a primary with voter turnout generated by intense free media coverage and somewhat by paid campaign advertising. Voters now feel a civic duty. If Gingrich can win the Iowa Caucuses, he will head to New Hampshire, Romney's strongest state, with an incredible head of steam. With the endorsement of the formidable Manchester Union Leader, Gingrich would be poised for victory in the Granite State. Those counting on a quick knock out of Mitt Romney may be disappointed. Like his father, George Romney, Mitt is determined, focused and resilient. Romney has been running for President for eight years and is meticulously prepared for the path ahead. Newt Gingrich is a house on fire who is sometimes distracted by his many enthusiasms. Focus and discipline are now a absolute requirement for the Gingrich campaign. The disconnect between Republican primary voters and Republican party officials can be seen in Florida. There, recent polls of primary voters show Gingrich pulling out to a double digit lead at the same time a poll of Republican political professionals conducted by Adam Smith of the St.Petersburg Times reflected an overwhelming belief by party pros that Romney would win the Sunshine State primary. The nomination of Romney probably ensures that former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson, bolts the GOP to seek the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party, which will appear on the ballot in all 50 states. A Gingrich nomination could serve to limit Johnson's appeal as the LP Nominee. If Romney is nominated, Johnson's market share will come out of Mitt's hide. Meanwhile, Americans Elect, an organization dedicated to fielding a 3rd (4th?) party candidate on the ballot in all states seems to lack any potential candidate with real star power other than perhaps New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Billionaire G. Thomas Golisano has also been mentioned. General Petraus is not interested and despite an "out-of-character" assault by Bloomberg on President Barack Obama over the President's leadership in the super committee deliberations on debt reduction, Bloomberg is still an unlikely candidate. I lay out how Newt could win for Fox: As well as in the NY-1: