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Gingrich's future hinges on Delaware

 

WILMINGTON, Del. -- The future of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign seems to hinge on the Delaware primary early next week.

"Tuesday is a big day," a source close to the Gingrich campaign told NBC News. "Newt is just waiting to see what happens on Tuesday."


Up until now, Gingrich has promised to take his campaign all the way to the Republican convention in Tampa at the end of the summer, although the odds are not in his favor.

The former House speaker has been spending the majority of his time the past three weeks in the First State. Gingrich has made at least 12 campaign stops in Delaware thus far while the presumptive GOP nominee, Mitt Romney, has held just one event there.

Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond said they are "optimistic" about the results in the state.

"Because Delaware is a small state it has allowed us to campaign effectively," Hammond said.

“We are looking for a bounce from Delaware and, with a good showing in the state, we will spend a lot of time on the phone with donors."

The campaign originally said late Friday night that the speaker would spend Monday campaigning in Delaware and then would head to Virginia (where Gingrich lives) for Tuesday. Just 30 minutes later, the campaign said Gingrich would be in North Carolina next week instead.

"Newt's North Carolina trip next week is back on - there was a communications glitch," Hammond told NBC News about the error.

The primaries on April 24 will be the first time voters take to the polls since Rick Santorum withdrew from the race earlier this month. The speaker, who has been campaigning as "the last conservative standing," hopes to capture a unified conservative vote with Santorum's absence.

But, even with a win in Delaware, Gingrich will still have just three victories under his belt and a minimal delegate count compared to Romney. Campaigning in New York City Thursday night, Gingrich even seemed to take a conciliatory tone at times during his speech.

"If I were to become the nominee, he [Romney] would work all out because it is our grandchildren's future at stake. If he becomes the nominee, Callista and I will work out because it is our grandchildren's future at stake," he said. "The fact is we are dedicated to a unified Republican Party, winning the presidency on behalf of America's future."

Gingrich holds two more events in Delaware Saturday.