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Gingrich Loses Florida Republican Primary, Asks for Delegates Anyway

-- Andy Bernard, The Office

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich lost Tuesday's primary by 14 points, which means he doesn't get any of the state's 50 delegates and front-runner Mitt Romney can go skipping to Nevada's Saturday primary with a 48-delegate lead in the long, agonizing race for 1,144.

We didn't hear anything from the Gingrich camp before the primary, but now that Florida voters thoroughly whomped him, he will be asking the Florida Republican Party to reconsider its winner-take-all method of allocating its convention delegates, according to MSNBC.

It's against Republican National Committee rules to hold a winner-take-all primary before April 1 -- but it's also against the rules to hold a primary before the first Tuesday in March, and the Florida GOP loves doing that. The state had half of its delegation taken away as punishment for moving the date up to January 31, but the winner-take-all provision is technically part of the same rule, so there wasn't a further penalty, but it does give some wiggle room to a challenge, which would leave Romney with 23 delegates and give Gingrich 16 and distribute the rest between Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.

Even if challenged, however, the appropriation policy wouldn't be decided until the national convention August 27 in Tampa, and even then, there's no guarantee the ruling would change anything -- or if Gingrich will be in the race long enough to enjoy them.


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