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Gingrich Out Within A Week?

Newt Gingrich’s campaign manager has drawn a rather emphatic line in the sand:

On Tuesday night, Newt Gingrich promised to continue his campaign to in Alabama, Mississippi and Kansas.

By Wednesday morning, his struggling operation decided to shoot for two-out-of-three.

In the latest sign the former House speaker’s White House bid is on the ropes, it has canceled all travel to Kansas before Saturday’s GOP caucuses there and its spokesman, R.C. Hammond, said Alabama and Mississippi, which vote March 13, are must-wins if Mr. Gingrich is to remain credible.

Consider this exchange between Washington Wire and Mr. Hammond.

Q: Newt said he had to win Georgia to remain a credible candidate. Does he have to win Alabama and Mississippi to remain a credible candidate?

A: Yes.

Q: He has to win?

A: Yes.

This leads Andrew Sullivan to speculate:

“There doesn’t seem much wriggle room in the quote. So if Santorum wins those states, as he well might, we’re into a three-man race. And it could be an even worse month for Romney than he imagined.”

On the first point, it’s worth noting that candidates make these “must win” comments all the time and end up finding excuses to stay in the race. Gingrich has been running a guerilla operation for a year now, there’s no reason he couldn’t continue if he wanted to, or at least as long as Shelly Adelson lets him. Additionally, it’s not a bad idea for Gingrich to concentrate on Alabama and Mississippi given his success in Georgia.

The second point is debatable as well. Even if Santorum is Romney’s main rival, the delegate math is still in Romney’s favor. Yes, the race will probably go all the way to the end and Romney will be even more damaged but there’s really no realistic possibility that Rick Santorum will ever overtake him, or even be able to force a contested convention.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares? Gingrich was never going to be the Republican nominee. Also, who cares because no matter who the Republicans nominate, President Obama will be re-elected. The only real question is whether President Obama gets more than the 53% he received in 2008.

    I guess thinking about Gingrich beats thinking about all of the House and Senate elections and the prospects that the Democrats would win control in the House.

    Everyone should ask themselves what is more likely: that Gingrich is the nominee or that Pelsoi will return as Speaker of the House.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Gingrich Out Within A Week?

    I got my sad on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  3. PD Shaw says:

    Besides motivating his voters to come out, what would be Gingrich’s reason to get out in a week?

    He’s only been able to win in the Deep South;
    His abysmal showing in Tennessee means that the Deep South is south of Tennesse (and north of Florida).

    What does he have left after MS and AL?
    Arkansas (5/22)? Huckabee territory might be Santorum country.
    Texas (5/29)? Some predict that Romney will get enough delegates here to wrap it up.

    So, maybe Gingrich suspends his campaign for two months and watches what happens. At worst, he gets out at his strongest.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Didn’t Gingrich drop out right after Iowa??

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. PD Shaw says:

    I forgot Louisiana (3/24), which screw up my narrative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Tillman says:

    The leader (possibly) of the Civilizing Forces dropping out?

    That’s not very leader-like.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. c.red says:

    Gingrich has already done his work by making Mitt look stronger than he is.

    If he had dropped out after Iowa (whether he should have or not being something entirely different) Santorum would almost certainly be the nominee already by virtue of winning Florida, Michigan, Georgia and Ohio.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0