Election 101: Ten questions about Newt Gingrich as a presidential candidate

The former speaker is a masterful strategist with a brilliant political mind. But a rocky marital record and a penchant for flame-throwing may jeopardize his candidacy.

2. Where does he stand on the issues? And who is his base?

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    Former speaker of the House Speaker Newt Gingrich addresses the National Rifle Association's 140th annual meeting on April 29, 2011 in Pittsburgh.
    AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
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Apart from championing small government, Gingrich is known more as a strategist than as an issues guy. He’s likely to present a standard GOP agenda, backing fiscally and socially conservative policies, though he has been known to take stances atypical of his party on issues like immigration, where he supports a guest worker program.

Unlike many of his potential contenders, Gingrich, who’s been out of politics since he left Congress in 1999, doesn’t have much of a cohesive base. He’s likely to pitch himself to evangelicals and the tea party, a rational move for any candidate in a Republican primary, says Michael McDonald, a political scientist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

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