COMMENTARY | After winning Georgia's primary, his sole victory out of Super Tuesday's 10-state primary and caucus contests, Newt Gingrich reassured a crowd of supporters he was in the race for the long haul, telling them he was the fabled "tortoise" in the Republican nomination race.
"There are lots of bunny rabbits who run through. I am the tortoise," he told the crowd, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Gingrich might prove correct in his analogy of the Republican race, but he's got some incremental winning to do if he's going to stage the comeback that makes the story work. He has won only South Carolina and Georgia (the latter he represented in Congress and where he resides) and amassed just more than 100 total delegates.
According to Real Clear Politics' delegate count, he trails Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. Of the four Republican candidates left in the contest, only Texas congressman Ron Paul trails him.
Still, Gingrich seems to have a way with Southern voters and hopes to at least add Alabama and Mississippi to his victories within the week. Kansas, which holds its caucus on Saturday, could prove Santorum turf, given his victory in the Iowa caucus and the nonbinding Missouri primary, states with comparable demographics.
But Gingrich was making light of all the contenders who had been running around, jumping in and out of the lead in the national and state polls, according to Real Clear Politics. Mitt Romney is the "hare" that has been playing a sort of passive whack-a-mole game of attrition with his fellow Republicans as each has gained popularity.
Partnering with the media and super PAC attack ads, not to mention capitalizing on myriad mistakes made by those who would be president, Romney has remained fairly consistent in the polls (due primarily to his own mistakes). Gingrich, once a front-runner, has even fallen behind Santorum.
So Gingrich might want to add some carrots to his diet. At the pace he's going, he'll have to hope the "bunny" with the lead (Romney) and the "bunny" with the momentum (Santorum) get run down by political machines for the "tortoise" to make a comeback.