Newt Gingrich has the momentum in the polls and great buzz from the debates, but the Hill notes that he is decidely lacking in one key area: endorsements from Republican lawmakers in DC. None have signed on even since his recent surge, while Mitt Romney just unveiled three big ones: Sens. John Thune and Kelly Ayotte, and Rep. Charlie Bass. All told, Romney has locked up 44 endorsements from Capitol Hill compared to six for Gingrich, and four of those are from his home state of Georgia.
The reason? Gingrich's four-year reign as House speaker, which included two government shutdowns and ended with his resignation in 1998 amid a coup of sorts. “His tenure as speaker was turbulent, to put it mildly,” says one political science professor. “You're not going to get a huge number of endorsements from people who actually served under him.” Don't look for John Boehner to get behind Gingrich anytime soon, either: He was part of the movement that ousted him. (Read more Newt Gingrich 2012 stories.)