Another loss, another failure by Newt Gingrich to concede a race to the winner, Mitt Romney. Rather than deliver a speech, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives instead opted to hold a press conference to unveil a supposed new campaign strategy.
The weakness of his position during the rambling 22-minute event was underlined by the fact that he had to begin by denying he was planning to drop out. 'I'm not going to withdraw,' he said. 'I'm actually pretty happy with where we are.'
It has been reported that he would announce he was 'going positive' for the rest of the campaign. Instead, he unloaded a stream of peevish bile about Romney, quoting everyone from George Soros to Charles Krauthammer.
Gingrich's new strategy? To achieve 'a series of victories' that would put him in a situation of 'parity' with Romney after the Texas primary, currently scheduled for April 3rd but likely to be delayed by litigation and where a massive winner-takes-all haul of 155 delegates are at stake.
Sooner or later, however, Gingrich will need to start winning again - and before April. He's not on the ballot in Missouri on Tuesday, when Romney is favoured in Colorado and Minnesota looks like a toss-up. Then we have Michigan and Arizona at the end of February, where Romney is the heavy favourite.
A few issues of timing. Romney gained from Nevada's decision to go early. On the other hand, turnout suffered because the caucuses took place the day before the Super Bowl, when people (especially bettors) were thinking about things other than politics. The possible delay of the Texas primary -- which could hurt Gingrich -- results from litigation involving legislative and congressional elections, not the presidential race. Redistricting represents federalism in action.
Mitt Romney’s easy victory in Nevada’s Republican presidential caucuses might, in the long run, be less important than the fact that a surprising number of Republicans who could have participated Saturday chose to stay home.
Republicans’ disappointing turnout foreshadows difficulty energizing GOP voters in Nevada, a key swing state in November’s general election.
Turnout was unlikely to match 2008, when 44,000 Republicans participated in Nevada’s caucuses. Complete figures were not released by the state party as of 10 p.m. Saturday, an indication of a lackluster showing.
“It was less than what we had planned for,” Clark County caucus Director Michael Chamberlain said on KNPR.