Long after pundits have called the primary for Mitt Romney, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has decided to withdraw his bid for the Republican nomination. The Speaker is expected to formally withdraw on May 1st and back Romney. He will make his final campaign appearance this Tuesday in Washington D.C.
The run for president has been up and down for Gingrich. He got off to a poor start and lost most of his staffers last year before the primary season had even begun. He was polling in single digits for most of the fall. Romney’s inability to seal the deal as the GOP front runner led to a carousel of candidates momentarily taking the reigns atop the leader board, and Gingrich got his turn in the early winter.
Gingrich’s time as the front runner was short lived, and Rick Santorum won the Iowa Caucuses. Romney would win the New Hampshire Primary. Gingrich once again rose from the dead and won the South Carolina primary. He was contending in Florida before being buried in an advertising onslaught by Romney and his Super PAC.
After his wipe out in Florida, Gingrich was essentially done. He would go on to win his home state of Georgia, but that was it. The battle for the Republican nomination came down to Santorum and Romney, with the former Massachusetts governor eventually pulling away. Though he currently lacks the delegates to seal up the nomination, Romney is now the presumptive nominee. Only Ron Paul remains in the race.
It is interesting to see Gingrich back Romney so quickly after pulling out of the race. Most insiders believed he only stayed in the race to take shots at Romney after getting hammered in Florida. Once again the old saying about Republicans falling into line is proven true as most of those who dropped out have now endorsed Mitt Romney. The establishment is now solidly behind him. The challenge is going to be getting conservative voters to get on board, and thus far Romney has failed to do so.