The Big Story Blog

Iowa: Will Gingrich's tears influence voters?

Posted at 11:19 AM on December 31, 2011 by Emily Kaiser
Filed under: Iowa


Could a teary-eyed Newt Gingrich scare voters away? The Des Moines Register tracked down "an Iowa political scientist who has researched campaign tears" to find out.

During a public appearance Friday, the former U.S. House speaker choked up while speaking about his mentally-ill mother. The comment came up when he was asked how she influenced his views.

From the Register:

The most critical element for Gingrich: Will voters perceive his emotion as sincere?

If yes, he just might see a bump at one of the most pivotal points in any presidential campaign: the cusp of the Iowa caucuses.

"If people find it to be sincere, then I think it can be a real boost, particularly for men and particularly because he was talking about his mother and how that changed him as a person," said Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.

In case you missed Gingrich's tearful moment, here's the video:

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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