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Gingrich Departs; Romney Santorum Meet - The Road to the White House - Election 2012 - Week 18

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Newt Gingrich, former GOP Presidential hopeful and Speaker of the House, made it official this week with the announcement he has suspended his bid for the Republican Presidential Nomination.

Speculation of his departure from the race surfaced several weeks ago when he, deep in debt and barely staying afloat throughout the campaign, released the majority of his staffers keeping only an inner circle and continuing his campaign efforts through social media and other free resources. Key moments of his primary process, included the South Carolina, where he overwhelmingly won and shook up the early republican race, and again on Super Tuesday when in Georgia he defeated all comers.  Gingrich unequivocally endorsed Mitt Romney and spoke candidly on the necessity to unset the current administration.

With Romney poised to be the Republican Presidential candidate, the media and both political campaigns are continuing to transition their message toward the general electorate. The Road to the White House will include, each week, the Gallup Poll Election 2012 tracking statistics.

As of May 5, 2012 national popularity among registered voters indicated President Obama dropped 2 percentage points this week and is at 46% and Romney remained at 45%. Obama’s current overall ratings, according to Gallup, remained steady at 48% approve and 46% disapprove of his effectiveness.

Mitt Romney, the presumed Republican Presidential candidate, took time from his campaign this week to meet privately, with his former chief challenger and rival Rick Santorum.  

Details of the ninety minute meeting are unknown although clearly an endorsement would have been on Romney’s agenda. As fierce rivals throughout the primary process the two shared the headlines and split the votes in many hotly contested races including the coveted buckeye state battleground.

On Santorum’s agenda? All indications point to a primetime speaking opportunity during the Republican National Convention in August and others close to Santorum sources have speculated financial forgiveness on his Presidential bid debts.  Although, an olive branch from the Romney campaign without more would sound trite and disingenuous.

With such deep divisions between the two camps and united by a singular cause, the two items speculated by Santorum aides don’t necessarily add up to an endorsement. On the other hand, a Romney-Santorum ticket guarantees the conservative right, the religious right as well as the Deep South voters and key battleground states that might be a difficult Romney wins could conceivably become solid red.

As the primary continues between Mitt Romney and Texas Representative Ron Paul, the final six include Indiana, West Virginia, North Carolina on May 8; Nebraska and Oregon, May 15; Arkansas and Kentucky May 22; Texas with 155 delegates, May 29; Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota and California with a golden prize of 172 delegates, on June 5 and the last primary Utah on June 26.

As the dust settles in the 2012 Delegate Tracker totals for all candidates have been adjusted. Of the 2286 total available delegates, Mitt Romney has secured 847 delegates and needs to win 297 more delegates in order to secure the GOP nomination for President of the United States before the August Republican National Convention. At this time Rick Santorum holds 259 delegates, Newt Gingrich; 137, and Ron Paul, 80.

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