After Mississippi and Alabama, Is It Time for Newt Gingrich to Drop Out?

Newt Gingrich's staying in the race may actually be making things easier for Mitt Romney.

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Newt Gingrich has compared his campaign to a tortoise, heading towards the Republican nomination convention one step at a time. His journey has included many roadblocks, from a staff exodus last summer to allegations from his second wife that he had asked her to enter into an "open marriage." The latest of these challenges is his second place showing in Tuesday's Alabama and Mississippi primaries, where wins could have proven his ability to carry the South (so far he has only won southern states South Carolina and Georgia, his home state), a region in which frontrunner Mitt Romney has shown weakness. However, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's victories in both those states show that Gingrich is not the only "Non-Romney" candidate that can appeal to southerners, and Gingrich's prospects only become more grim as the 2012 GOP race looks to the north for next Tuesday's  Illinois primary.

[ See a collection of political cartoons on Newt Gingrich.]

The Gingrich campaign has a history of seemingly out-of-nowhere resurrections—his upset victory in South Carolina destroyed the idea that Romney would sail smoothly to a nomination. Yet at this point, some argue Gingrich's refusal to drop out of the race is actually now helping the Romney camp, as it splits between Gingrich and Santorum the conservative wing of the party that sees Romney as too moderate. Tuesday, Santorum told reporters, "If they want a conservative nominee for sure, they can do that by lining up behind us and making this race clearly a two-person race outside of the South." Santorum supporters have been more direct, explicitly calling for Gingrich to get out of the way. Meanwhile, contributors to U.S. News Debate Club disagree whether Newt Gingrich should forge on.

What do you think? Is it time for Newt Gingrich drop out? Take the poll and comment below.

This poll is now closed, but the debate continues in the comments section.

Previously: Is Barack Obama Doing Enough to Lower Gas Prices?