COMMENTARY | Newt Gingrich is doing what he can to prove he can be the darling of Southern voters as his march continues through the Republican race, according to ABC OTUS News. While he is sure to pull more delegates in the next few weeks, he is more important moving forward to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum than to himself. As a political scientist, I see Gingrich as the most important person in the U.S. right now.
Gingrich is sitting at 107 delegates, while Romney, Santorum and Paul were holding 454, 217 and 47, according to the New York Times Republican Delegate Count report. With only 1,459 delegates to go, it is mathematically improbable (but not impossible) for any of the candidates to reach the magical number of 1,144 needed to get the Republican nod. This is where Gingrich's true importance comes into play.
When all is said and done, I see Santorum and Romney being in a very close race but short of the 1,144 delegates needed. The numbers held by Gingrich should be enough to put one candidate or the other over the hump. While the delegates he will leave behind will be up in the air, he can influence the tide by his endorsement. Romney continues to attack Gingrich through ads and Santorum supposedly asked the former Speaker of the House to exit the race. Instead, they should be do everything they can to court him.
I see it coming down to what each front-runner can offer the candidate from Georgia. We should see a position coming for Gingrich if he is able to push one of the candidates over the top and the White House is won from President Barack Obama. The power to make the official candidate for the Republican Party resides in the hands of one person.
Gingrich and Pal know their chances of gaining the Republican nod are slightly better than nil. Paul is staying in the race to continue to push his message, while the other is sticking it out for personal gain. If Romney or Santorum truly want to win, they need to get on the phone and start making quality offers to the man who will make the difference. Vice President Gingrich might be a strong possibility than you think.