ith Florida's crucial Tuesday primary fast approaching, Newt Gingrich has won the endorsement of Herman Cain, a former rival for the GOP presidential nomination. Cain, who enjoyed a few weeks as frontrunner back in October before being brought down by allegations of sexual harassment and a years-long affair, praised Gingrich for his "bold ideas." Earlier in January, the former Godfather's Pizza CEO baffled the political world by giving his presidential endorsement to "we the people," but he now says Gingrich "is the closest to what I represented when I was still a candidate." Gingrich has been tumbling in Florida polls, watching Mitt Romney surge to a double-digit lead. Will Cain's backing help Newt catch up in time?
This helps Newt — but not enough: The Hermanator's endorsement is "a welcome jolt of momentum" for Gingrich's sputtering campaign, says Alex Altman at TIME. The endorsement should win over some of the Tea Partiers who supported Cain's "unlikely insurgent bid for the presidency," and will reinforce "the outsider's image — risible though it may be — that Gingrich has sought to create." But in the end, it almost certainly won't be enough for Newt to overtake Mitt: After all, many of Cain's supporters had already drifted to Gingrich.
"In surprise twist, Cain endorses Gingrich"
Cain can't save Gingrich: Herman Cain was once the GOP's flavor of the month, says Jamie Dupree at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "but those days are long gone." Gingrich needs something truly groundbreaking to save him, and it's doubtful "this endorsement will mean any type of boost" at all.
"Cain endorses Gingrich; the polls do not"
This endorsement is simply coming too late: "Five weeks ago, this might have been a game changer," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Cain's endorsement could have helped Newt combat negative ads in Iowa and "rally Tea Party support in a state where it might have made a big difference." Even a nod in South Carolina would have helped fuel Gingrich's surge heading into Florida. But an endorsement just a few days before Florida's primary, after hundreds of thousands of early-voting ballots have already been cast, is "unlikely to change the tide."
"Rasmussen in Fla.: Romney 44, Gingrich 28"
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