Skip to main content

Georgia win keeps Gingrich in the race

By Shawna Shepherd, CNN Political Producer
updated 8:03 AM EST, Wed March 7, 2012
  • Victory is Newt Gingrich's second of the 2012 primary/caucus season
  • Gingrich, a loser in other Super Tuesday races, says he's the tortoise in the GOP race
  • "I just take one step at a time," former House speaker says
  • Gingrich blames losses on barrage of attacks from Mitt Romney, super PAC

Atlanta (CNN) -- Despite a delegate math challenge ahead, Newt Gingrich vowed to stay in the GOP presidential race after he won Georgia's Super Tuesday primary.

It was expected the 20-year Georgia congressman would end up the victor of his longtime home state. Despite coming in third and fourth place in a majority of the Super Tuesday contests, a win in Georgia was enough for him to continue his White House run.

Gingrich likened his candidacy to a well-known fable when he described the fluctuation of the Republican presidential primary front-runner.

Get the latest news on Gingrich's campaign

"And now it's (Rick) Santorum and you just can't quite get across to them. It's all right, there are lots of bunny rabbits to run through. I'm the tortoise. I just take one step at a time," Gingrich said at his Super Tuesday election night party.

Gingrich: 'SNL' should do Obama skit
No 'loser talk' from candidates
Analysts: Is Romney really winning?

One major upset the former House speaker neglected to mention was that he could not compete in Virginia, where he and his wife, Callista, reside and are registered to vote. He and Santorum ultimately conceded the state to Mitt Romney because they did not collect the required number of signatures to get their names on the ballot.

Super Tuesday results

The Gingrich campaign seized on his only Super Tuesday first-place finish by launching the "March Momentum Money Bomb" online fundraising campaign, which mirrors what the campaign did after his only other victory, which was in South Carolina on January 21.

"We have 173,000 donors already, 95% of them give less than $250," he said.

Rather than go after Santorum, Gingrich directed his ire at Romney by tying the front-runner's wealth to Wall Street. He told hundreds of people at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta, "You believed that people can make a difference, that in fact Wall Street money can be beaten by Main Street work."

Delegate calculator

Exit polls showed voters whose income ranged from under $30,000 to $200,000 chose Gingrich by around a 2-1 margin. But Romney picked up more of Georgia voters who earn $200,000 or more -- of the 10% of voters who fell into that income bracket, Romney carried them 41% to 37%.

Gingrich won all but three of the Peach State's 159 counties. Romney picked up Savannah's Chatham County, which Gingrich visited last week. Romney also won metro Atlanta counties -- Fulton and DeKalb, both of which are partially in the 6th Congressional District, Gingrich's former district.

Gingrich continued to blame his losses on the barrage of negative attacks brought on by Romney and millions spent by the Restore Our Future super PAC, which supports the former Massachusetts governor. He also blamed the "elites," who he said want President Barack Obama elected to a second term.

"I hope the analysts in Washington and New York who spent June and July explaining our campaign was dead will watch this tonight and will learn a little from this crowd and this place," he said.

Gingrich is relying on upcoming votes in Southern states to deliver much-needed delegates to justify staying in the race. He will campaign in Alabama and Mississippi, which hold contests next Tuesday.

Ahead of the Kansas primary Saturday, Gingrich will make stops in Topeka, Wichita, Overland Park and Hutchinson on Friday and Saturday.

Part of complete coverage on
Get all the latest news at CNN's Election Center. There are race updates, a delegate counter and much more.
A black man is returning to the White House. Four years ago, it was a first, the breaking of a racial barrier. Tuesday night, it was history redux. And more.
The 2012 presidential election shattered spending records, further polarized a divided country and launched a thousand hashtags.
updated 1:41 PM EST, Thu November 8, 2012
Democratic and Republican congressional leaders continue to sharply disagree over the key issue of whether top tax rates should be raised to help resolve the looming crisis.
updated 2:24 PM EST, Wed November 7, 2012
In a historic turnaround, the ballot box is showing America's shifting attitudes about same-sex marriage.
Even though voters indicated to pollsters that their financial situation is the same or worse than it was four years ago, they put their trust in the president.
updated 4:19 AM EST, Thu November 8, 2012
The president faces a long and familiar set of challenges after riding a wave of support from moderates, women and minorities to victory.
updated 9:27 AM EST, Wed November 7, 2012
Republicans kept a lock on the U.S. House of Representatives, a crucial victory after the party failed to wrest away the presidency from Barack Obama and the Senate from the Democrats.
updated 7:34 PM EST, Wed November 7, 2012
Democrats will retain their control of the Senate after winning several closely contested races on Tuesday.