Orlando (CNN) – Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, the Hawkeye State's top political handicapper, said Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich still has some serious spadework to do if he hopes to win the GOP nomination.
Though Gingrich has vaulted to the top of state and national polls, Branstad told CNN Wednesday that the former House speaker has not built a strong enough organization to win the caucuses in January.
Gingrich only opened his first campaign office on Wednesday.
"He may be ahead in the polls, but can he deliver?" Branstad asked. "That's the question I have."
He also said Gingrich must develop a singular campaign message, instead of haphazardly rattling off new policy ideas on a near daily basis, as he is prone to do.
"Gingrich has benefited from taking on some of the gotcha questions and from being an idea person," Branstad said. "But in the end you have to have a message. It's a genuine good question to ask of Gingrich. Can he maintain it in light of that fact?"
Branstad made the comments in Orlando, where he was attending the Republican Governors Association annual meeting.