Santorum, Gingrich Battle for Control of Conservative Vote

Wednesday, 07 Mar 2012 11:29 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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Even though Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich won the primary in his home state of Georgia in convincing fashion on Super Tuesday, the super PAC backing rival Rick Santorum wants the former House speaker to withdraw as the two grapple over conservative voters.

The Santorum camp believes that the former Pennsylvania senator could take down front-runner Mitt Romney in a one-on-one contest. Santorum backers contend that Gingrich is siphoning conservative support from Santorum, allowing the more moderate Romney to win.

Gingrich is a “hindrance to a conservative alternative,” The Red, White and Blue Fund said in a statement Wednesday.

“With Gingrich exiting the race, it would be a true head-to-head race, and conservatives would be able to make a choice between a consistent conservative in Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney,” the fund’s adviser, Stuart Roy, told Politico.

Gingrich should “exit the Republican nominating process,” Roy said, adding that Santorum’s win in Tennessee Tuesday particularly proves he’s the real conservative challenger to Romney.

“Tennessee, a border state with Gingrich’s home state of Georgia, was a solid victory for Santorum, and with his third place finish in the Volunteer State it was a rejection of the idea that Gingrich has any Southern appeal.”

The Gingrich camp begs to differ, with the House speaker telling supporters Tuesday night: “With your help, we are going to go on to Tampa and win the nomination” at the Republican National Convention in August.

Incidentally, Santorum’s hasn’t officially demanded that Gingrich withdraw.

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