Opinion Brief

Newt Gingrich: Delaware or bust?

The struggling candidate suggests that he might drop out of the presidential race if he is defeated by Mitt Romney in the First State

Even though Mitt Romney has all but secured his nomination as the GOP's presidential candidate, and is planning to kick off his general election campaign Tuesday night in New Hampshire, his struggling opponent Newt Gingrich is still hanging on. The two will square off against each other in five states on Tuesday, and Gingrich has a decent chance of winning Delaware. While most have already discounted the former Speaker of the House, Gingrich actually just received another $5 million campaign injection from the wife of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, and has pledged to "reassess" his campaign only if he loses Delaware. Could a Gingrich win in the First State be a game changer?

It would highlight one of Romney's weaknesses: Delaware is a "tiny" state, but "dangerous," says Ginger Gibson at Politico. While a Gingrich victory won't "turn the tide of momentum away from Romney," it could underscore Romney's continued struggles with the GOP base. Gingrich will certainly advertise a win in Delaware as "him rallying the state's conservatives to pull off an upset victory over the more moderate candidate." "Could Newt pull off Delaware upset?"

A win could renew interest in Gingrich: "A big win in Delaware" could "spur renewed interest in the Gingrich challenge to Mitt Romney and a much-needed uptick in campaign contributions," says Neil King Jr. at The Wall Street Journal. Even a "close second-place showing" and strong performances in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island could keep Gingrich in the race at least until the May 8 primary in North Carolina. "Gingrich's future now hinges on Delaware"

Gingrich's campaign was over long ago: Gingrich is undoubtedly "pinning his hopes" on winning Delaware's 17 delegates, says Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post. But it's more likely that "today marks the last day of 'Newt Gingrich, presidential candidate.'" His campaign over the last month "totally collapsed as any spark of momentum he was hoping to capture (or recapture) was snuffed out by the increasingly obvious fact that he had no chance to win," which has been evident "for quite some time." "Newt Gingrich's campaign — by the numbers"

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