- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 4, 2012

Newt Gingrich will stay in the Republican presidential nomination contest despite an expected loss to Mitt Romney in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses, the former speaker told The Washington Times late Saturday afternoon.

“We had excellent fundraising meetings and calls yesterday,” Mr. Gingrich said. “Super Tuesday” — the large collection of primaries to be held in early March — “and beyond look good.”

The former House speaker dismissed rumors circulating in the press and in political circles, speculation sparked when his campaign suddenly scheduled a press conference for late Saturday after the results were due to be announced from the Nevada caucuses. Mr. Romney was widely expected to notch a second straight win after handily beating Mr. Gingrich in Florida’s Jan. 31 primary.

“We will probably be a solid second here with [former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick] Santorum in last place,” Mr. Gingrich told The Washington Times, while acknowledging that Mr. Romney has built up a formidable financial and organizational advantage over his leading rivals.

“Our current job is to convince conservatives I am the only realistic alternative to Romney,” Mr. Gingrich added.

Despite a resounding victory in the South Carolina contest, Mr. Gingrich has not managed to build on his momentum in either Florida or Nevada — with both states exposing weaknesses in his campaign organization. He has expended much of his energies in recent days seeking financing to keep his nomination run bid alive.

Las Vegas is home to Sheldon Adelson, the gambling magnate who has been a major financial backer of the former speaker and in whose hotel Mr. Gingrich has been staying while seeking capital in the nation’s gambling capital.

Mr. Gingrich faces more tough challenges in the days ahead, with Republican contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri scheduled for Tuesday.