Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is turning his focus to the Republican National Convention and backing away from campaigning in the remaining primary states. Since winning South Carolina and Georgia, he has not fared well in gaining delegates, lagging well behind Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. There have been reports that his coffers remain in the red, including money owed to the SC GOP for lodging when he campaigned here.
Gingrich has also made changes in campaign staff. The Washington Post reports he is laying off a third of his staff and has replaced his top advisor.
House Speaker Bobby Harrell, a Gingrich supporter in South Carolina, says “There is still a long way to go before the convention” and says it’s too early to talk about Gingrich dropping out.
But what worked towards a win in South Carolina has not happened in other states. “He had a terrific ground game here,” says state GOP Chairman Chad Connelly.
Republican consultant Chip Felkel says that Gingrich capitalized on primary voters’ frustrations with federal government intervention, including a National Labor Relations Board lawsuit against Boeing over its SC plant, and the U.S. Justice Department stopping new voter ID and immigration laws.
“It was a perfect storm…he was aided by the departure of two candidates that week plus Romney had a bad week, ” says Felkel. “At the time it was still about who could take it to Obama in a debate, well the gig is up on that one. Obama’s not going to give the Republican nominee a Lincoln-Douglas style debate.”