Gingrich’s big, hollow win in Georgia

Many news outlets are reporting Gingrich’s win in Georgia’s Super Tuesday primary as distinct and expected. It was supposed to prelude Gingrich’s “March on The South.” However, at closer analysis, last night may have been the warm-salt watered gargle of the proverbial fat-lady singing for Gingrich’s bid for Presidency.

With Gingrich’s last win in South Carolina, the understood strategy seems to have been gathering strength in all Southern states and staying in the game. These states of the most concentrated number of delegates and will give any candidate more bang for their political buck. He was expected to win big in Georgia and polls projected Gingrich was surging in Tennessee as late as Monday. To be seen as a Southern victory, Gingrich would have needed to beat Romney in both states. He would also have needed to beat Romney by a high home-state percentage to obtain base support bragging rights. Instead, Gingrich lost Tennessee to Rick Santorum (he simply won’t step-aside as Gingrich suggested). Though this may not have been a death-blow, coming in behind Mitt Romney certain has to hurt. This indicates chinks in the Gingrich amour, even in Southern states. Under-performing in a state like Tennessee, a neighboring state to Georgia, suggests Gingrich will have a more difficult time than anticipated trekking through the South. He will have to fight against the ultra-conservative appeal of Santorum (from this point known as The Yankee) for the “anti-Romney” voters. If he performs this way in Mississippi and Alabama, that Yankee may destroy Gingrich’s campaign in the same way Sherman burned Atlanta. Santorum could rename his Southern campaigning “The Neo-Yankee March to the Sea.”

The bad news doesn’t stop there for Gingrich. Although he won Georgia’s primary, the less than spectacular results suggest he under-performed in that state as well. With 76 delegates up for grabs, he stated prior that he needed to win Georgia in order to maintain relevance. Since two nomadic candidates were competing in “home” states where they have held high-profile public office—Romney as former Governor of Massachusetts and Gingrich as former Congressman in Georgia— both were expected to win big (garner at least 50% of the vote or better) and gain momentum. This was especially important for Newt Gingrich as his campaign is marred by debt and could use a third wind. While Romney won decidedly  in Massachusetts by over 72%, Gingrich’s Georgia win was only 47.2%, less than the 50% needed to appear as a solid bet. In order to make Romney’s performance pitiful in Georgia, he needed to keep him below 20% overall and in most major voting congressional districts. Gingrich was unsuccessful. Romney obtained 25.9% on average (right on target). This allows him to take at least 13 delegates from the state. Gingrich walks away with 46. There are still 15 delegates unallocated. Based on elections reporting, Romney stands to gain a few more delegates, making this win in Georgia even more hollow for the former House Spea

The next Southern battles occur March 13 in Alabama and Mississippi. Based on the above results, these contest may just continue hammering the slow nail in Gingrich’s presidential-hopeful coffin.

One Response

  1. Gingrich is not a southerner no matter that he is trying to sell self as that, he is from PA just like Santorum-the south is not that stupid-we do research here. 2nd Gingrich is a KNOWN adulterer and his wife is what we call white trash (or worse-she was sleeping with a married man you know)-no matter the so-called denials this is going to kill him in the south.

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