As the New Gingrich campaign implodes, some are asking who would benefit the most from his withdrawal from the race? While I suppose it must be asked, it’s a silly question. Though his name recognition allowed him to register some support in the polls, Gingrich had no natural constituency in his party. Nor did he have a coherent rationale as to why Republicans should tap an iconic figure from the past whose career as speaker of the house ended in embarrassment ought to be president.
So the easy answer is that there isn’t much, if any, Gingrich support to divvy up among the other contenders. And it is unlikely that he will withdraw from the race that quickly. Until he runs out of money Gingrich may well decide to carry on with this strange ego trip even if all his senior advisors have already left the sinking ship of his candidacy.
It is possible that a Gingrich exit will encourage others to get into the race. But I doubt that either Rick Perry or Rudy Giuliani or some other Republican who decides to jump in sometime this summer was waiting to see how Gingrich did.
Others will say that Gingrich’s crash is illustrative of the weak nature of the Republican presidential field. But to say that is to generalize the specific. Whatever shortcomings the other candidates have, Gingrich’s problems were of a completely different nature. The lessons of this personal disaster apply to no one but himself.