Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, is one of the biggest variables. Mr. Gingrich has not been openly buttonholing major donors for a presidential bid, fund-raisers said. Nevertheless, all the work he has been doing for his policy center, American Solutions, generating large contributions (the group is permitted to take in donations of unlimited size) and building donor lists, could form a strong financial foundation for a run.
From National Journal:
On NBC's 'Meet the Press,' former House GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich said that he would make a decision about running 'around February,' and that if he did decide to seek the presidency he would probably announce in 'late March.' Gingrich said he expected a full Republican field of 12 to 15 candidates, and he predicted 'you will not know who the (GOP) nominee is until very late in the spring of 2012.' Gingrich added that President Obama remains personally popular and that he would not be easy to defeat. 'This president has enormous capacity' to recover politically, said Gingrich. He cautioned that Obama 'is not beaten.'