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Adelson Pulls the Plug on Gingrich

A bad week for Newt Gingrich has just gotten worse. Bloomberg News is reporting that Newt Gingrich has seen his last check from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson. The casino mogul and his wife donated a reported $11 million to pro-Gingrich super PACs in January when his fortunes had faded and he desperately needed help. Their infusion of cash into his campaign funded an avalanche of ads attacking Mitt Romney and helped Gingrich to a big win in the South Carolina primary. However, Gingrich’s crushing defeat in Florida and a string of caucuses since then has made another comeback for the former Speaker of the House increasingly unlikely. But if Gingrich thinks the Adelsons will pony up for another round of Romney-bashing, he is mistaken.

As the New York Times reported last weekend, Adelson may like Gingrich but his political objective this year is defeating Barack Obama. The Romney campaign conducted a careful attempt at outreach with the Adelsons and it has apparently borne fruit. In the piece, Adelson made it clear that he would actively support Romney once Gingrich quit. Yet while Gingrich, whose run seems fueled as much by his hatred for Romney as it is by his considerable personal ambition, is unlikely to drop out anytime soon, Adelson has gone a bit farther now by signaling that he will not be giving his friend any more money in order to pursue this vendetta.

The GOP race has changed so many times in the last few months that it is hard to argue that it will not flip again, but right now it appears that Rick Santorum has passed Gingrich in the battle to be the leading “not Romney” in the race. Gingrich desperately needs a boost from somewhere but Adelson, who is an ardent supporter of Israel and fears the consequences of a second term for Obama, will not fund a campaign that at this point may be more about an attempt to cripple the man who is still the most likely to be the Republican nominee than anything else.

Since Gingrich spent most of 2011 running without much money in the bank, it can be argued that this setback won’t be enough to force him out of the race. But Gingrich is a man who struggled a long time to achieve the wealth that his consulting/lobbying business gave him in the last decade. With his campaign debts mounting every day, he has to be worried about being forced to spend years trying to repay this money. This means that unless Gingrich finds a new sugar daddy, his days as a viable or active candidate may be numbered.