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Three Reasons Why Gingrich Could Play Gop Kingmaker
by Jeffrey Guillot

Despite winning the delegate rich Georgia Primary last night, and having his SuperPAC coffers lined with casino cash, it is almost a mathematical certainty Newt Gingrich is not going to be the Republican Nominee for President of the United States.

So, why stay in the race?

The answer is simple. Gingrich wants one more chance to have a lasting impact on Conservative Policy-making, and he can do it by staying in the race and being an electoral thorn in the side of the remaining candidates.

Gingrich, the former House Speaker who rose to national prominence as the archenemy to Former President Clinton in the 1990s, has been consistently been placing third in the vast majority of state primaries, well behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. However, the fact that Romney has not been able to sufficiently clinch enough delegates in the wake of Super Tuesday makes it evident that this race may become a lengthy slog that could stretch well into the summer months. As such, Gingrich has three solid reasons to continue his campaign well beyond the Super Tuesday.

Southern Strategy: Gingrich has decisive wins thus far in Georgia and South Carolina. He hasn't come within a country mile of any winning any other state. However, the upcoming political calender is quite Newt-friendly. Mississippi, Alabama and Kansas are all states with deep evangelical roots where Gingrich could pick build some momentum with one or two more wins. Proving himself to be a regional Southern candidate could keep him financially afloat until Arkansas, Kentucky and the massive prize of Texas hold their primaries in late May.

Playing spoiler: Look no further than the returns in Ohio and Michigan to see what impact Newt's presence has had on Santorum. Santorum would have scored game-changing knockout blows in Michigan and Ohio had Gingrich not been on the ballot. Instead, Romney was able to capitalize on Gingrich siphoning votes from Santorum and was able to reap handsome rewards as a result. Playing spoiler in this manner will have many impacts. Gingrich must be careful to not cripple Santorum to the point where he catapults Romney to the nomination, but being able to undercut Santorum in certain places does muddle the waters between who can eventually become the second place finisher in the Republican Primary assuming that Romney wins the lions share of the delegates when the process concludes this summer.

Becoming a Kingmaker: If no candidate reaches the magic number of 1,146 pledged delegates by the Republican Convention on August 27th, then Delegates pledged to Gingrich in South Carolina, Georgia and any other southern states he may win could be a critical bargaining chip that could either deliver or deprive Romney of the nomination. Essentially, a brokered convention would place Newt Gingrich in his natural element- in a position to scheme, wheel and deal his way to a favorable result. It's not a stretch to say that he's always been viewed as a master manipulator, not a charismatic political figure. That is the key appeal in staying in the race despite being unable to emerge as the eventual victor. Gingrich could use his delegates as currency to secure a cabinet post, Vice Presidential nomination, or some other public policy goal that isn't yet clear. Despite being unable to be coronated at the Republican Convention, Gingrich could have the keys to the kingdom regardless.

Published: Mar 7,2012 11:18
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