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How a Candidate Knows When It's Time to Quit How a Candidate Knows When It's Time to Quit

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How a Candidate Knows When It's Time to Quit

Newt Gingrich has made it abundantly clear in recent days that Mitt Romney's anticipated victory in Florida tonight will in no way stop or even slow down his own campaign. No matter that February is looking bleak for Gingrich, with few, if any, opportunities to win contests and no opportunities to grandstand in a nationally televised debate until Feb 22. "This is going on all the way to the convention,'' he said Sunday.

In light of his never-say-die ethos, it's interesting to recall when Romney called it quits in 2008. It came one week after losing to John McCain in the Florida primary and two days after disappointing results in the Super Tuesday contests. (This year, Super Tuesday isn't until March 6.) Romney delivered the news that he was suspending his 2008 campaign at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.

"If I fight on in my campaign all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and, frankly, I'd make it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win,"
Romney said at the time.

Obviously, Gingrich doesn't see it that way. Neither does Rick Santorum or Ron Paul. Yet. But it will be interesting when CPAC 2012 convenes on Feb. 9, whether the largest gathering of conservative activists in the country agrees that these candidates should continue pressing on.

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