There have been a lot of theories about why former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich hasn’t dropped out of the presidential race yet. After all, he has nearly no funds, no chance at overtaking any of his competitors even if he somehow swept the rest of the primaries, and obviously very little support within the party establishment.
Now, there’s finally an answer that makes a little sense: he needs to win three more states.
According to the Republican National Committee rules, a candidate needs to win five states in order to have his or her name submitted for nomination at the Republican National Convention. Gingrich, with just South Carolina and Georgia in his win column, needs to try to snag a few more, or he’ll lose what delegates he has earned and any chance to be a kingmaker in a brokered convention.
Gingrich’s campaign isn’t worried about the rule, saying there’s still plenty of time, and plenty of ways to get his name in for nomination. For instance, he doesn’t have to “win” some of the states that he already lost — if he can get non-binding delegates in caucus states to turn to him instead, he “wins” the state that way even though the official win would belong to a different candidate.
“[T]he rule does NOT block Gingrich from being considered as the nominee,” Gingrich’s spokesman told The Hill.
Even more interesting, Gingrich insinuates that the field still may not be set, and might not be until the convention itself. “Saying that Mitt Romney may not be able to ‘grind his way toward the nomination’ despite a huge fundraising advantage, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told NPR today that he sees no reason to exit the Republican presidential race and that there’s a chance of a new contender emerging at the party’s convention in August. ‘I’m not so sure you wouldn’t get a series of brand new players’ stepping forward during a brokered convention, he told Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep.”
Even more players? This might really be the nomination that never ends.
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