Newt Gingrich’s presidential ambitions have received a $2 million boost from fundraising in California – and much of it is due to rival Rick Santorum, the former House speaker’s camp says.
Gingrich’s California political director, Mike Schroeder, credited Santorum’s surge with helping raise the cash in the Golden State since the start of the year, The Washington Post’s Election blog
“This campaign has been up and down. We crested out of South Carolina and raised a lot of small-dollar donations,” Schroeder, a former California GOP chairman, told the Post. “But then Santorum came in and now we’ve got a headwind.”
Gingrich, who just completed a three-day swing through Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno and the San Francisco Bay area, explained: "Part of what’s going to happen is that Romney is going to attack Santorum. That will inevitably take some votes away from Santorum, but they won't go to Romney. So I will become the beneficiary of what Santorum used to be the beneficiary of when Romney was attacking me."
Gingrich will fly to his home state of Georgia on Thursday night.
Schroeder told the Post that the nation’s largest state could, for once, play an important role in the nominating process. The primary isn’t until June but the contest could still be wide open by then. He said that in many heavily Democratic areas such as San Francisco, GOP membership is small and tends to be dominated by Asians, Latinos and African Americans, groups that Gingrich had concentrated on during his visit.
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