Opening Act: Newt by 15 in Iowa

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R) speaks to the media as Donald Trump listens at Trump Tower following a meeting between the two on December 5, 2011 in New York City. Gingrich, who’s seen a surge in polls in recent weeks, attended a town hall event December 3, 2011 hosted by the Tea Party of Staten Island. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The ABC/WashPost poll gives Newt a commanding caucus lead, with basically all of the imploded candidates’ support seeping over to him.

Romney backers gently rub the panic button.

Real talk from Rand Paul.

New Slatester Sasha Issenberg drops science about the Romney campaign’s strategy to avoid anti-Mormon votes.

The exciting payroll tax war gets even more exciting, if such a thing is possible.