Rick Santorum has won both Alabama and Mississippi. A bad night for Mitt Romney, certainly (though he’s likely to rake in delegates when the results from Hawaii and American Samoa come in later tonight), but a much, much worse night for Newt Gingrich. Gingrich’s only other wins were in South Carolina and Georgia, remember; the Deep South was supposed to be his last, best opportunity for a comeback. Obvious question: What possible justification does Newt have for staying in the race? Matt Lewis suggests that there’s “a Machiavellian argument … that continuing to accrue delegates would give him additional bargaining leverage going into the Republican convention in Tampa this summer,” but concludes that it’s a flawed and dishonorable strategy, and that Newt should drop out. Will he? His statements tonight seem to suggest not, but that can change fairly quickly.
BuzzFeed is already looking back at what we’ll miss about Newt’s candidacy.