Washington (CNN) - Newt Gingrich says that his well-received performances in the Republican presidential debates are one reason why he's rising in the polls in the race for the GOP nomination.
"I entered this race with a huge amount of background story, some public, some private, which led people initially to think, 'Well, I'm not sure I want him.' And part of what the debates have done is they've been able to see me without editing, and, therefore, they've been able to say, 'Gee, that's not the guy I thought he was,' " the former House Speaker told CNN's Piers Morgan, in an interview scheduled to run Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."
According to a USA Today/Gallup survey released Monday, 12% of Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP say they support Gingrich for their party's presidential nomination. That's up 5 percentage points from a month ago.
And he's also in third place with 13% in Monday's NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, up 5 points from early October.
Gingrich was at 12% in an ABC News/Washington Post poll out Friday and had 10% support in a Quinnipiac University national poll released last Wednesday. He stands at 12% in a recent Fox News poll and at 10% in a recent CBS/New York Times survey.
And it's not just national polling - in Iowa, the first state to vote in the primary and caucus calendar, Gingrich is in fourth place, at 10%, according to a recent CNN/Time/ORC International poll of registered Republicans.
Gingrich's campaign was left for dead by many in late spring, after a number of top advisers and staffers quit and the campaign faced financial difficulties.
"I made a big mistake in the spring. I brought in very smart, traditional consultants, and I'm not a traditional candidate. I mean, I run a very, very idea-oriented campaign. Think of it as a long form, where most consultants want to do 30-second attack ads, I want to do 30-minute positive speeches. And so we got off track for about four months," Gingrich told Morgan. "Those people needed to leave. They had a vision of a traditional campaign, which I couldn't possibly run."
The former House Speaker has performed well in eight GOP presidential debates held this year, acting as the elder statesman while many of his rivals for the nomination attacked each other.
"People like Rush (Limbaugh) began saying I was the adult in the room and people watched and some of my colleagues began bickering," Gingrich said on CNN's "John King, USA" on Friday. "I think the bickering really shrank them."
Gingrich's fundraising appears to be picking up as well. Last week he told CNN's Erin Burnett that he raised more money in October than the $800,000 he brought in during the previous three months. With less than two months until the Iowa caucuses, which kick off the presidential primary and caucus calendar, now is the right time for a candidate to start rising in the polls. As for his standing in the surveys, Gingrich tells Morgan that, "We're still about eight or nine weeks behind where I had hoped to be at this point."
- Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PSteinhauserCNN
Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.