CAMPAIGN '96: NEWT GINGRICH'S COOKIE MONSTER

WILL GEORGIA VOTERS THROW THE SPEAKER OUT? BUSINESSMAN MICHAEL COLES IS RICH ENOUGH TO TRY

When Democrat Michael Coles announced for Congress against Newt Gingrich, the audience was filled with friends, supporters and a hostile, blue-furred Cookie Monster. The costume, worn by a Gingrich backer, was a dig at Coles' background. He is the self-made multimillionaire founder of the 400-store Great American Cookie Co. But the fact that Newt supporters not only showed up to heckle Coles but actually dressed for the occasion may indicate something else--anxiety that come November this spend-whatever-it-takes cookie tycoon could gobble up their man.

Gingrich's popularity has ebbed since the heady early days of the Contract with America. His 33% approval...

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