"A Three-Man Race With Gingrich in the Mix"

"A Three-Man Race With Gingrich in the Mix"

"A Three-Man Race With Gingrich in the Mix"

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 3 2012 5:39 PM

"A Three-Man Race With Gingrich in the Mix"

PAHRUMP, Nev. -- The polling in Nevada puts Newt Gingrich in second place, a sure thing to come in behind Mitt Romney and pull some delegates. Don't believe it! Gingrich's allies want you to know that a second-place finish would be miraculous.

"It's a three-man race with Gingrich in the mix," says Chuck Muth, a Republican strategist working with the pro-Newt Winning Our Future PAC. "We're lucky; there are so many voters who have a particular fondness for the speaker that we're competitive."

The argument: Gingrich has only really had a month to organize. Muth was tapped on January 8. In the last few weeks, WOF ran robo-calls to identify voters; targeting calls only started on Thursday, for a Saturday morning caucus. Winning Our Future's work is vital, because it's not going to be matched by hustle from the Gingrich campaign. Ginger Gibson has the funereal details:

Bob Seale, a Gingrich supporter and a partner at the Seale and Beers firm from which the campaign is renting the office, said the campaign rented space in the building after Gingrich’s Jan. 21 win in South Carolina.
Volunteers set up camp in a hotel conference room in downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday, connecting 25 phones to reach out to Nevada voters. But by Thursday, a scheduling conflict had moved them into a one-bedroom suite on the third floor.
Only three phones remain plugged in and a handful of volunteers casually punched away at the dials.

The combination of all this stuff has to be good for Gingrich. The polls are being spun away: He's a schmuck, a bumbler, outclassed, outcampaigned. He does better than third place, and he "wins" and stays the conservative choice. He just needs to stick to that.

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Ah, well.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.