Gingrich Campaign Doubles Down On South

March 8, 2012 12:00 AM
Gingrich Campaign Doubles Down On South
" ATLANTA (AP) — Newt Gingrich’s poor showing in every Super Tuesday state except Georgia gives him an increasingly narrow path to win the nomination, one that now depends on the South.

The Gingrich campaign on Wednesday canceled plans to visit Kansas, instead zeroing in on Mississippi and Alabama, which hold primaries next week. The campaign is also looking ahead to Louisiana later this month and Texas after that, putting everything on the line in the South.

“Everything between Spartanburg (S.C.), all the way to Texas. Those all need to go for Gingrich,” said campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond.

The fallout from Super Tuesday left Gingrich with little choice. Aside from the unsurprising victory in Georgia, which he represented in Congress for 20 years, he had little to cheer about.

He finished far behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum in the other nine states and trailed Ron Paul for fourth place in five of the races. Santorum’s victories in Tennessee and Oklahoma — two states with GOP voters similar to Georgia’s — raised doubts about Gingrich’s appeal to Southern conservatives.

Santorum’s campaign was quick to capitalize on his victories Tuesday night.

“And here we are in Oklahoma and Tennessee that we won fairly big. So I think we’re going to do really well in the South,” said Hogan Gidley, a Santorum spokesman. “Rick’s values match up well with the South. His message matches up well in the South.” "

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