Gingrich Plans To Fight On, What Are His Chances?
After Romney won the Florida primary, he received 50 delegates. Now, Romney has a total of 76 and Gingrich only has 27; 1,144 are needed to win the nomination.
Analysts told the Boston Globe that the road ahead will be difficult for Gingrich. Romney has a lead in money and organizing for Saturday’s Nevada caucus. The next month of primaries also favor Romney. Maine voters go to the polls from Saturday through Feb 11. Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri, where Gingrich failed to get on the ballot, take to the polls on Feb 7. Arizona, Michigan and Washington also have their polls before Super Tuesday. Romney won Nevada, Colorado and Michigan in 2008.
Gingrich has said he will stay in the race until the end. What then does Gingrich need to do to be a contender for the GOP nomination?
Focus on the Deep South/Super Tuesday
Deep South states vote in March. It is in these states that Gingrich expects the most support. He is focusing his campaign on the Super Tuesday primaries that occur March 6 in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. Gingrich is expected to do well in his home state of Georgia, as well as in Tennessee, Alaska, Idaho and Oklahoma.
The Republican establishment, though, may call for Gingrich to quit before Super Tuesday if Romney continues to win primaries. Super Tuesday will have 467 delegates up for grab. Gingrich failed to get on the ballot in Virginia, one of the most important competitions that day, which could further hurt his chances.
Win Tea Party Support
Gingrich could win support from Tea Party activists and others unhappy with Romney. This support could help him in terms of votes and campaign donations.
It could be difficult for Gingrich to win this support, though, if voters believe Romney has a better chance of beating President Barack Obama.
Nevada has a large Tea Party presence, but one of Gingrich’s top campaign aides told the Boston Globe that winning the state was a “lost cause.” Gingrich is still making an effort there, however, because he can still pick up some delegates.
Nevada is the home state of Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who have given $10 million to a pro-Gingrich super PAC. The group pumped $6 million to aid Gingrich in Florida, but spending plans in Nevada and other states are unknown at this time.
Consolidate the Conservative Vote: Rick Santorum Dropping Out
Santorum, Paul and Gingrich have all been referred to by Gingrich as the “real” conservatives in the race, according to The Ledger. In Florida, Santorum received 13 percent of the vote and Paul 7 percent. If Gingrich could isolate the conservative vote, his chances against Romney would be much higher.
If Santorum leaves the competition, as some articles suggest he will, and supports Gingrich, Gingrich could gain enough support to “stay alive” until Super Tuesday, reports CNN.
A voter survey by Public Policy Polling found that Romney would face tougher competition if Santorum dropped out of the race. Conservative voters would then rally behind one candidate, propelling him further.
“If this ever comes down to Romney, Paul and just one out of Gingrich and Santorum, Romney would be in a lot of trouble,” Public Policy Polling Director Tom Jensen said.
Intensify Fund-Raising and Mobilize Support
In the last three months of 2011, Gingrich raised around $10 million. In January he raised $5 million, most after his victory in South Carolina.
Romney, however, has raised much more money. His campaign team said it raised $24 million in the final quarter of last year and $19 million at the end of the year. He has also received a sizable amount of support from Super PAC groups.
Gingrich cannot financially compete with Romney. In order for him to be able to compete with him in later states, he will need to raise more money.
Reach associate news editor Hannah Madans here.