Gingrich has led in recent polling in Georgia but faces plenty of hurdles. It has been more than a decade since he represented suburban Atlanta, and a significant portion of the state's population may have little memory of his time in government.
With so many delegates at stake — at 76, Georgia offers the most of any Super Tuesday state — Romney and Santorum are expected to compete here, too. Santorum campaigned in the state Thursday while Romney's wife, Ann, was making two appearances on his behalf.
In Dalton, Ga., Santorum said he was running a "full-throttle campaign" in every state, including Georgia. "Georgia can be a huge, huge state on election night," he said.
But a win in Georgia is unlikely to give Gingrich a clean sweep of the state's delegates.
Under party rules, Georgia has three delegates for each of its 14 congressional districts. If a candidate wins a majority of votes in those districts, that candidate gets all three of the district's delegates. But if a candidate wins by less than 50 percent, the first-place finisher gets two delegates and the runner-up is awarded a single delegate.
Three Georgia GOP party leaders — the party chair and its national committeeman and committeewoman — are automatically awarded to the statewide winner. The remaining 31 at-large delegates are allocated proportionately among candidates who get more than 20 percent of the statewide vote.
"I think he's pulling it together," said GOP strategist Matt Towery, a former Gingrich campaign aide. "The question is: Has the train left the station?"
Associated Press writer Ray Henry contributed to this report.
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