Stuart Rothenberg writes that hes skeptical GOP presidential candidate and ex-Speaker Newt Gingrich will fight all of the way until June, especially in light of his dimming prospects.
The conventional wisdom now is that, even with the Republican nomination slipping further and further away, former Speaker Newt Gingrich will fight tooth and nail all the way to Tampa, making life miserable for the partyís likely nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
That scenario certainly is possible, and Democrats surely would benefit from seven months of bloodletting between the partyís establishment and tea party/populist wings.
Maybe I simply like being a contrarian from time to time, but count me as skeptical that Gingrich will fight all the way until June and even beyond, no matter how much bravado and bombast was in his speech Tuesday night.
There is no doubting Gingrichís contempt for Romney, whose allies have pounded the Georgia Republican repeatedly since he returned from the political graveyard right after Herman Cainís exit from the GOP race.
Gingrich hasnít called to congratulate Romney after his two victories, and the former Speaker must be deeply frustrated with his inability to capitalize on his South Carolina victory.
After all, this is a man who thinks big and talks big ó a man who, I imagine, thought that he would be his partyís nominee. Modesty and humility donít come easily to Gingrich, so the thought that he might have missed his opportunity must be difficult to accept. He looks and sounds like a bitter man.
The night of a crushing defeat in a key state was not likely to be the moment Gingrich took a cold-blooded look at his prospects. So it shouldnít have been surprising that Gingrichís first reaction Tuesday evening would be one of defiance, as he reiterated his belief that he would be the Republican nominee to face President Barack Obama and promised to take the fight to 46 more states.
But even with proportional representation (required during March contests) preventing the eventual nominee from locking up the nomination quickly, the process makes it difficult for a traditional kind of candidate, such as Gingrich, to remain a factor in the race ó especially as long as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum remains a viable option for conservatives.
Unlike Rep. Ron Paul, who is promoting his libertarian agenda and has supporters who care more about making their case than about winning the nomination, Gingrich is actually running for president. Heíll need money, victories and a demonstrable path to the nomination to keep his candidacy going.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.