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After Mitt Romney's Decisive Victory, What Will Newt Gingrich Do?

The big question coming off of Mitt Romney's decisive 14-point victory in Florida is, "What's next for Newt Gingrich?" If you go by what the former speaker said during interviews and his speech last night, the campaign will extend into the summer.

But as The New York Times sees it, Gingrich might have to recalibrate, and it may all come down to Super Tuesday.

The Times explains:

"The Gingrich campaign is banking on its ability to accumulate delegates, even if in a drip, drip, drip fashion, and to demonstrate enough strength until voting takes place in a succession of Southern states starting on Super Tuesday, March 6. The South is where Mr. Gingrich's perceived strength lies, with his big victory in South Carolina on Jan. 21 as Exhibit A.

"If he can hold on until Super Tuesday, his campaign believes, Mr. Gingrich could get a jolt of energy from Georgia, the state he represented in Congress, with its 76 delegates. After that, his campaign says, he is well positioned for Texas, which will vote on April 3 and offers 155 delegates. Both states award their delegates proportionally."

With that look toward the future, we'll leave you with some of the highlights of this morning's coverage:

-- The Washington Post digs through exit polls and finds that Gingrich's argument that Romney cannot win the conservative vote is weakened by Florida. Two of three voters in Florida said they supported the Tea Party movement, yet Romney won handily. Also:

"Polling conducted in recent days also complicate Gingrich's argument. In both NBC-Wall Street Journal and Washington Post-ABC polling, it's Romney, not Gingrich who would benefit if former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, a conservative favorite, decided to drop from the race. (Santorum has pledged to continue on in the contest despite a less than rousing finish in Florida tonight.)"

-- Just how negative was the campaign in Florida? The New York Times finds that 92 percent of all campaign commercials that ran were negative.

-- February is a mystery, reports Politico. Where Gingrich goes from here — without a debate until Feb. 22 — and how he keeps his name in the conversation without as much money as Romney is anyone's guess.

-- Sarah Palin weighs in:

"'I think that with $17 million purchasing some ads and some false narrative it was very, very difficult for Newt Gingrich and the other candidates to counter that bombardment of advertisements,' Palin said Tuesday night on Fox News."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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