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Despite sinking polls and fleeing staff, Gingrich clings to 2012 campaign

By Kase Wickman
Monday, June 13, 2011 13:00 EDT
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Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is back on the campaign trail as of last weekend, clinging to his candidacy despite having no staff and a lack of widespread public support.

At a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition in Los Angeles Sunday night, a reporter asked Gingrich if he still saw himself as a viable candidate.

“Go ask the voters,” Gingrich responded.

The voters, it seems, do not see Gingrich as their 2012 choice. A new Gallup poll released Monday showed that Gingrich has declined in support among likely Republican voters in the past two weeks, going from 9 percent support in late May, to just 5 percent support in a poll conducted this weekend, far trailing poll leader Mitt Romney’s 24 percent base of support.

Adding to the polling blow is the departure last week of Gingrich’s top campaign aides, as well as personnel in early caucus states such as New Hampshire. There have been no confirmed hirings to head the former Georgia congressman’s presidential campaign. A rumor circulated late Sunday night that Republican strategist Frank Luntz, who worked with Gingrich in developing the Speaker’s famed “Contract with America,” would lead the campaign, but a Gingrich spokesperson quickly denied it.

The one-two punch of poll numbers and current lack of senior staff won’t deter Gingrich, his lesbian half-sister Candace Gingrich-Jones told the Huffington Post.

Once a critic of her half-brother, Gingrich-Jones, who works for LGBT activist organization Human Rights Campaign, is now being trotted into a media spotlight to praise him.

“He doesn’t give up that easily,” Gingrich-Jones said. “Just because some staff members weren’t with his strategy isn’t going to make him quit. If anything, I can imagine that strengthening his desire and his resolve to do good.”

Don’t expect to see Gingrich-Jones shilling for her brother on the campaign trail, either. She intends to support the reelection of President Barack Obama.

“I intend to send a ‘Don’t let the bastards wear you down’ email,” she said of supporting her brother.

Despite meager fundraising, lackluster polling and an absence of campaign staff, Gingrich wrote on his Facebook wall last week, “I am committed to running the substantive, solutions-oriented campaign I set out to run earlier this spring.”

Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
 
 
 
 
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