By Teresa Welsh |
As the primary contest goes on to Nevada, one has to wonder what former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's campaign must do to stop former Gov. Mitt Romney's momentum after his overwhelming victory in Florida. If the Gingrich campaign has an effective fundraising plan, solid organizational structures in Super Tuesday states, and reconfigures his message to appeal to voters, then he should remain in the race. However, if he simply chooses to remain in the race because he wants to needle the Romney campaign until the convention, most GOP voters will not have the stomach for it. Romney allies took Gingrich down in Iowa and Gingrich returned the favor in South Carolina. Both waged an extremely negative campaign in Florida and Romney won.
Romney will likely win Nevada and Rep. Ron Paul could come in second place because both have organizations set up months ago there. Gingrich opened his campaign office in Nevada today. What does this tell us? It means that Gingrich does not have the resources to think very far ahead. After the loss in South Carolina, Romney's machine turned like a dime and fired up the advertising, structure, and concentration it takes to win. He will likely do the same in upcoming primary states. Back in the summer, Republican operatives were buzzing that the Romney campaign was preparing for a long, divisive primary. We can see the fruits of their labor paying dividends. Gingrich must not simply stay in the race just to be the "alternative" and to criticize Romney. After 19 debates, we all know the weaknesses of every candidate. Gingrich must stay in the race if he has a strategy to pull off a miracle. If he doesn't, the former speaker should bow out gracefully and concentrate his energy on defeating Barack Obama.
About Ron Bonjean Former Chief of Staff for the Senate Republican Conference
Judson Phillips Founder of Tea Party Nation
Doug Heye Former Communications Director for the Republican National Committee
Krystal Ball MSNBC Contributor and Former Democratic Nominee for Congress in the First District of Virginia