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Will Newt Gingrich Do the GOP More Harm Than Good by Staying in the 2012 Race?

Will Newt Gingrich Do the GOP More Harm Than Good by Staying in the 2012 Race?

Former Gov. Mitt Romney defeated former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich handily in the Florida primary Tuesday. Romney won 46 percent of the vote, capturing all 50 of Florida’s winner-take-all delegates, while Gingrich trailed in second with 32 percent. Gingrich was hoping to build on the momentum that came with his South Carolina victory in mid-January. What ensued in Florida was a mudbath of Super PAC-backed negative ads and personal attacks between the two candidates. Romney and his allies spent more than $17 million in TV ads in Florida, a vast majority of them negative, and his campaign advisers openly discussed with the press their attack strategy against Gingrich as Romney began to eclipse Gingrich in the lead-up polls. Gingrich, however, is refusing to step down, promising to take this battle all the way up to the Republican convention. Though the nasty campaigning paid off for Romney in Florida, some wonder if the in-fighting between Gingrich and Romney, long thought to be the “inevitable” nominee, is doing the party more harm in the long run as it distracts from the endgame: winning the White House from Barack Obama. Others encourage Gingrich to keep up the fight, as conservatives still appear unsure about the moderate former Massachusetts governor. Here is the Debate Club’s take:


The Arguments

#1
29 Pts
GOP Needs Newt Gingrich to Keep Fighting

No – GOP Needs Newt Gingrich to Keep Fighting

Matthew Dickinson Professor at Middlebury College

#3
6 Pts
Competitive Primary Is Healthy—Look at Obama's in 2008

No – Competitive Primary Is Healthy—Look at Obama's in 2008

Doug Heye Former Communications Director for the Republican National Committee

#4
6 Pts
Newt Gingrich Made Mitt Romney Stronger

No – Newt Gingrich Made Mitt Romney Stronger

Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist, Conservative Activist, and Political Analyst

#5
3 Pts
Newt Gingrich Bringing Down the Republican Party

Yes – Newt Gingrich Bringing Down the Republican Party

Lara Brown Professor at Villanova University

#6
1 Pts
Newt Must Trade Hope for a Miracle for a Shot to Beat Obama

Yes – Newt Must Trade Hope for a Miracle for a Shot to Beat Obama

Ron Bonjean Former Chief of Staff for the Senate Republican Conference

#7
-3 Pts
Gingrich-Romney Mudfest Is Turning Independents Away From GOP

Yes – Gingrich-Romney Mudfest Is Turning Independents Away From GOP

Krystal Ball MSNBC Contributor and Former Democratic Nominee for Congress in the First District of Virginia


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