With Super Tuesday over, and the latest tally of delegates now including more Southern States, Mitt Romney holds a commanding lead in the race to become the 2012 challenger to President Obama Barama. The fate of Newt Gingrich is far less certain of victory, and perhaps even more troubling, even as he continues in his quest. Thus the question of what he is questing for must be asked.
Currently Newt Gingrich has 141 GOP delegates in total. He is easily beating Rep. Ron Paul, but is being beaten by Rick Santorum by the same margin that Romney leads Santorum (about 2:1). In total Newt Gingrich has only won in 2 States: South Carolina and Georgia. He has taken second place 3 times: Alabama and ties in Mississippi and Oklahoma. This is out of a total of 30 races.
Newt Gingrich has openly admitted that he cannot compete with Mitt Romney on donations to fund his campaign (as recently as his speech after the results from Alabama and Mississippi were known). Gingrich does not have the ground network of volunteers and workers to maintain a cohesive national campaign either. Plus, the sheer scale of wins that would be needed to unseat Romney is probable only in mathematics – winning roughly 72% of the remaining races.
Facing such a daunting and improbable scenario, Newt Gingrich continues to marshal on.
Real Clear Politics shows that the average result of national polling on the choice between the GOP contenders and President Obama is currently:
Obama vs Romney – 47.9% v 44%
Obama vs Santorum – 49.9% v 42%
Obama vs Gingrich – 51.3% v 37.5%
Thus, according to current polling that will of course change as we get closer to the summer, Gingrich is the WORST choice to battle Pres. Obama head-to-head. If Romney and Santorum can’t win, as Gingrich states, his path past the incumbent President is even a rougher road to travel.
At the end of the day the question stands, ‘Why is Gingrich still in the race?’ The apparent answer, either pride or dislike.
Gingrich is assuredly the old man of the Republican Party. He has never stopped speaking about the Reagan Era and the work Republicans accomplished at that time. This is well in the realm of credit he deserves as he earned it – or most of it according to detractors. Such a man, with so strong a reputation, does not accept defeat easily. Even if not accepting that defeat is costing him dearly.
“If (Gingrich) can’t win in the South, he needs to go.” – Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of RedState.org
“He believes he can do this. But he and Callista are probably the only two people who believe it.” – former top Gingrich aide Rich Galen
This brings us to the reality that we stated in February, “Gingrich will likely stay in 3rd, though very close behind Santorum…” Thus a combination of efforts from these 2 men can bring Romney just under the required 1,144 needed to win outright. Maybe.
The likelihood of blocking an outright win grows every day that Gingrich is in the race. His presences takes votes from Santorum, clearly, but also from Romney. But again we ask why?
The only answer seems to be from the manner in which Mitt Romney won in Florida. The SuperPac ads. Negative ads that severely hurt Gingrich and started his mathematical impracticality. Leading to statements like this, made on March 11th before the Alabama and Mississippi races,
That sounds a lot like a violation of the Reagan 11th Commandment Gingrich has stated he holds dear,
Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.
Are Republicans benefiting from Gingrich continuing to run? Will America become a stronger nation if Republicans are damaged to the point that anyone winning the nomination is damaged goods? Are supporters of Gingrich gaining anything besides the ability to claim a higher status than supporters of Rep. Ron Paul?
The answers are all No. In the end, the only thing that Gingrich is being successful at is removing resources from the eventual Republican nominee, bolstering the minimal prospects of President Obama, and getting a bit of revenge. Not exactly what Republicans want in a presidential nominee.
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