On November 26 I noted that Newt’s line at an overflowing town hall in Florida, “I’m the comeback grandparent”, struck the right chord.

First, it distinguished Newt’s prior “when I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible” days from the person running for president.  Second, it presented the image of a fighter who, despite his age, still can throw a punch.  Third, and perhaps most important, it appealed to a key demographic in Florida.

And it appears to be paying off:

A new American Research Group poll in Florida shows Newt Gingrich leading the Republican presidential field with 50%, followed by Mitt Romney at 19% and Herman Cain at 10%.

It’s the third poll in two days — following Insider Advantage and Public Policy Polling — to show Gingrich crushing his rivals in Florida.

Fair enough, not a single vote has been cast in Florida or anywhere else.

But polls, and crowds are all we have to go on at this point. And Newt is packing them in not just in Florida but also in Iowa.

My best guess is that the seniors remember Newt as a fighter, and that’s exactly what they want right now as they look on helplessly at the destruction of the nation they once knew.  A grandparent who will fight like hell for the future of his grandchildren is the ticket Newt is selling in Florida, and there appear to be plenty of buyers.

Update:  Yowee

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters finds Gingrich on top with 38% of the vote. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is a distant second at 17%. No other candidate reaches double-digits.