Gingrich is battling for his political life tonight as results start to trickle in from the Republican primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. Although it is difficult to see a path forward if Gingrich does not pull out a strong performance tonight, the former House Speaker reiterated Tuesday that he plans on staying in the race no matter what happens in Alabama and Mississippi.
Sources close to the campaign confirm that the candidate means what he says: The campaign will go on, they said, even in a worst-case scenario where Gingrich comes in third in both of tonight’s contests.
“We keep rolling,” one source told Business Insider. “Flat tires and no engine, but we keep rolling.”
The Gingrich campaign is already laying the groundwork for the race going forward. In a characteristically dramatic memo sent to reporters a few hours before polls closed today, Gingrich’s political directors argued that Romney does not have nearly enough delegates to win the nomination as the race approaches “halftime.”
“With a steady 35% of delegates and no change in sight, the fact that Romney advisers have undoubtedly told him is that he can no longer force his nomination,” the memo states. “Mathematically, the numbers are just not there. Instead, with 4 candidates remaining, the GOP nomination now moves into unchartered waters with history in the making.”
The memo goes on to say that “the sequencing and pace of the second half favours Newt.”
While the campaign doesn’t provide a lot of evidence to back up this claim, the memo suggests that Gingrich’s primary goal is denying Romney the 1,144 delegate majority he needs for an outright win.
“With Rick and me together, we are really slowing him down, with some help frankly from Ron Paul,” Gingrich told an Alabama radio show Tuesday. “The country is sort of saying, a majority is saying, ‘Not Romney.’ The biggest bloc is saying Romney, but it’s not a big enough bloc to be a majority. We now are beginning to think he will literally not be able to get the delegates to get the nomination.”
The Santorum campaign laid out a similar strategy in their own memo to supporters on Monday. But that doesn’t mean Santorum has accepted Gingrich as his ally. The former Pennsylvania Senator told Glenn Beck Tuesday that it “would be great if he [Gingrich] would get out of the race because clearly the vast majority of the votes that he is taking are coming from me.”
“Congressman Gingrich has really shown no ability to get votes outside of the State of Georgia and, you know, those primaries are all over. All the states that border Georgia are now, as of today, will have had their primaries,” Santorum said. ” And whether he does well or not, I don’t think it’s going to matter much.”
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