CHICAGO (CBS) — There is some expectation that Mitt Romney will get a firmer grasp on the GOP presidential nomination after the Florida primary Tuesday, but political analyst Stephen Caliendo says a Romney victory doesn’t mean the race is over.
“I think there are a lot of Republican voters who are not sold on Mitt Romney’s authenticity,” said Caliendo, a political science professor at North Central College.
Besides that, Caliendo says, there are many other states where residents have yet to cast their votes – and not all of them have primaries.
“We’ve got some caucus states coming up – caucuses work a little bit differently than primaries – and some of these other candidates might be able to pull some surprises there,” Caliendo said. “The problem is going to be money – who’s going to be able to raise enough money to keep going.”
In particular, Caliendo says, Newt Gingrich needs to spend a lot of money to remain competitive in the primaries and caucuses that are left.
“He needs to stay on message, but he also needs to spend a lot of money. He’s got a couple of big investors – a couple of folks who are sort of giving him big money – not directly to him, but to PACs that support him. He’s going to need more of that,” Caliendo said.
Funding will be needed especially for Gingrich to be competitive when Super Tuesday comes around in March, Caliendo said.
“He has to stay on the airwaves. Florida is a huge state with lots of media markets, so it’s very expensive to run campaigns there. That’s not going to be the case in February. Missouri, I think, is the largest state. Colorado has a selection contest in February. There’s just a handful,” Caliendo said. “But then we get to Super Tuesday – the first Tuesday in March – lots of southern states, especially larger states – you need money if you’re going to compete on Super Tuesday.”
On CBS This Morning on Monday, Charlie Rose asked Gingrich about all of the powers that be in the Republican Party who have come out against him. Gingrich responded that he is taking on the establishment in both the Democratic and Republican parties.
Caliendo says some might doubt the credibility of Gingrich’s comments, and his alignment with the anti-establishment forces of the Tea Party.
“It’s a winning argument. It’s just a tough one for somebody who was Speaker of the House to make. I mean, he’s clearly a Washington insider, but he’s running as an outsider because the establishment is firmly behind Mitt Romney,” Caliendo said. “I think if you ask those folks who are in the inside of Republican politics, they wanted this thing to be over by now. They wanted Romney to be the nominee. Gingrich is sort of pushing against that.”
As for Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, Caliendo says it’s unlikely that they stand a chance of getting the nomination now.
“I don’t think that either one has a chance to come back and get the nomination, but they do have a chance to make the noise at the convention – particularly Ron Paul. I mean, he’s got a message that’s so different from the other candidates, and he has a core group of supporters that have been behind him all along,” Caliendo said. “Rick Santorum is having a tough time competing for attention with Newt Gingrich, because they’re not that dissimilar – even though he’s trying to make it seem like they are – and of course, with that sick daughter, it makes it very difficult for him just to stay focused.”