01/10/2012 08:30 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Newt Gingrich New Hampshire Primary 2012 Outlook

After gaining momentum in the race for the Republican presidential nomination just months ago, Newt Gingrich finds himself struggling to run toward the front of the Republican presidential primary pack.

The former House Speaker hasn't held back in taking aim at frontrunner Mitt Romney in recent days.

The Gingrich campaign has also struggled to get its message on the airwaves.

"Irritated" By Outrage

HuffPost's Amanda Terkel reported on one of the latest flare-ups to hit the Gingrich campaign over the weekend:

Gingrich vigorously defended his controversial comments about food stamps and African-Americans Sunday, saying he was "irritated" by the reaction and believed people should have welcomed his remarks.

At a recent town hall event, Gingrich said that if invited, he would love to speak at the annual NAACP convention "about why the African-American community should demand pay checks and not be satisfied with food stamps."

He has also frequently called President Obama a "food stamp president."

At an event that his campaign billed as a "Hispanic Town Hall Meeting," held at the Don Quijote Mexican restaurant here, Gingrich was pressed on the topic by Yvan Lamothe, an African-American New Hampshire resident.

"My point is, about a week ago -- some time ago -- you mentioned that black people should be able to earn a paycheck, not be on welfare, implying that black people in general are on welfare," said Lamothe. "And I really took exception to that because it demeans my accomplishments, my hard work, because I have worked all my life. I have never been on welfare. You know about history. You know that back in the 1930s, Hitler started talking in Germany about a Jewish problem. My question to you is, do you think that blacks represent an American problem, and if you don't think that, will you stop using blacks in general as a stepping stone or a punching bag?"

Gingrich disputed Lamothe's characterization of his comments, blaming the Democratic National Committee for taking them "totally out of context."

The Polls

HuffPost's Mark Blumenthal reports:

If ever there were a time when polls should be certain about something, it is that Mitt Romney will win New Hampshire's Republican presidential primary on Tuesday. At least 53 times over the past two years, and at least 24 times in the last two months, media pollsters have measured the preferences of likely voters in New Hampshire, and found Romney leading the Republican race every time, usually by large, double-digit margins.

The final round of tracking polls taken over the past weekend shows Romney leading Ron Paul and the rest of the candidates by margins of 15 to 24 percentage points. By the metrics of polling, Romney's victory in New Hampshire appears virtually assured.

Yet the same surveys are also full of uncertainty, particularly as reported by the voters themselves, and that margin of doubt leaves open questions about the size of Romney's likely victory and the identity of the candidates who finish second, third and fourth.