Many news outlets are reporting Gingrich’s win in Georgia’s Super Tuesday primary as distinct and expected. It was supposed to prelude Gingrich’s “March on The South.” However, at closer analysis, last night may have been the warm-salt watered gargle of the proverbial fat-lady singing for Gingrich’s bid for Presidency.
With Gingrich’s last win in South Carolina, the understood strategy seems to have been gathering strength in all Southern states and staying in the game. These states of the most concentrated number of delegates and will give any candidate more bang for their political buck. He was expected to win big in Georgia and polls projected Gingrich was surging in Tennessee as late as Monday. To be seen as a Southern victory, Gingrich would have needed to beat Romney in both states. He would also have needed to beat Romney by a high home-state percentage to obtain base support bragging rights. Instead, Gingrich lost Tennessee to Rick Santorum (he simply won’t step-aside as Gingrich suggested). Though this may not have been a death-blow, coming in behind Mitt Romney certain has to hurt. This indicates chinks in the Gingrich amour, even in Southern states. Under-performing in a state like Tennessee, a neighboring state to Georgia, suggests Gingrich will have a more difficult time than anticipated trekking through the South. He will have to fight against the ultra-conservative appeal of Santorum (from this point known as The Yankee) for the “anti-Romney” voters. If he performs this way in Mississippi and Alabama, that Yankee may destroy Gingrich’s campaign in the same way Sherman burned Atlanta. Santorum could rename his Southern campaigning “The Neo-Yankee March to the Sea.”
The next Southern battles occur March 13 in Alabama and Mississippi. Based on the above results, these contest may just continue hammering the slow nail in Gingrich’s presidential-hopeful coffin.
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