Conservatives call on underdog Gingrich to quit for good of bigger picture

  • @dusborne

Newt Gingrich likes to choose his words for laughs and surely that's why he muddled his rabbits with his hares on Tuesday night as he delivered his "victory" speech after taking his home state of Georgia. "There are lots of bunny rabbits that run through. I'm the tortoise. I just take one step at a time," he said.

The image also plays into the notion that he is the indefatigable underdog, fighting bravely as "Wall Street" – that would be Mitt Romney – hits him with the stick of negative advertising. But an underdog has to prevail for the narrative to make sense and that is not happening.

Sure, he won Georgia but not with 50 per cent of support that might have been expected. More ominously, he did not score well in other Southern states that took part in Super Tuesday. It wasn't just Rick Santorum who did better than him in those states. Mr Romney did too.

Mr Gingrich is driven by his angry desire to block Mr Romney. But a case can be made that if he had dropped out earlier, the Romney caravan would have been pushed off the road by Mr Santorum, who would have monopolised the conservative vote.

This is why the super-PAC – a political action committee that raises funds – supporting Mr Santorum made a formal pitch to Mr Gingrich to quit. "With Gingrich exiting the race it would be a true head-to-head race and conservatives would be able to make a choice between a consistent conservative in Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney," noted Stuart Roy, its chief adviser.