by Hartley Atkins
In a speech after the Mississippi and Alabama Primaries, in which he came in second place in both, Gingrich was adamant that he will remain in the race until Tampa. And in subsequent interviews, when it was suggested that Santorum victories were a blow to his Southern Strategy and that if he continued in the race, he would only be splitting the conservative votes with Santorum and that would allow Romney an easier path to victory. By staying in the race, Gingrich explained, he would deprive Santorum a shot at winning; if he dropped out, that would be a certain victory for Romney.
Quite a paradox, isn’t it? Not quite! I have to admit it, that Gingrich has a point.
This is why. What Gingrich explained is true up to the end of March because all states, up to that time, will allot delegates proportionally to each candidate in the race until April, when the “winner takes all” kicks in and the delegate count will advance much faster for the winner. As for the rest of March, unless it is guaranteed that Santorum will get all of Gingrich’s potential votes and he wins the rest of the March contests by ridiculously large margins, after Gingrich gets out, Romney would have a better chance of widening his lead in delegates, especially if he wins and by good margins. At the very least, Romney’s lead is kept in check with Gingrich and Santorum gaining more votes combined thus reducing the margin of any potential victories for, and the number of delegates rewarded to, Romney until the end of March.
But come April, it will be a different ball game and I don’t see any logical reason for Gingrich remaining in the race until Tampa, if he is not winning in the “winner takes all” states.
Oh! And those pundits on TV urging Gingrich to get out now – Gingrich is by far savvier than them on matters such as these.
Gingrich is really more interested in making history at this stage and engineering a brokered Convention, in my opinion.