By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A week ago it looked like Mitt Romney had the Republican Presidential nomination in the bag. But, with Newt Gingrich’s big win in the South Carolina primary on Saturday the Republican Presidential race has been upended.

Romney immediately took to the airwaves in Florida — the next primary contest — to call Gingrich erratic.

Gingrich is fighting for funding, needing a cash infusion to take on Romney’s well-funded campaign.

Gingrich raised $1 million in the first 24 hours after his South Carolina win and is now leading in at least one Florida poll.

The new uncertainty means Minnesota’s caucuses, which are Feb. 7, are suddenly a lot more important.

Monday morning Ron Paul rolled out TV ads here. Paul and Gingrich are also running radio ads locally.

“Minnesota is non-binding so delegates are not apportioned but it’s a very important symbolic win and for the candidates looking to build momentum. Minnesota is all of a sudden a must come to state,” said Prof. Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey Institute.

Four years ago, Romney won the caucuses here beating John McCain by 20 points. Back then Gov. Tim Pawlenty was a co-chair of the McCain campaign.

“In Minnesota, we’re not a hot bed of republicanism so we have some work to do,” he said.

But this time around, after dropping out of the presidential race, Pawlenty has endorsed Romney.

“Governor Pawlenty is one of the leading national surrogates for the Romney campaign,” said Brian McClung, Pawlenty’s former deputy chief of staff.

McClung said while he thinks Romney will do well, Ron Paul and Gingrich could pull off a surprise.

“I think you are going to see Ron Paul with a real active group, I think Newt Gingrich and his attacks on the media have been really popular with conservatives so I think Newt is going to do well and obviously Mitt Romney has had an organized substantial campaign this whole time,” McClung said.

Minnesota’s role could grow even greater if the newest polls out of Florida turn out to be true.

They show Gingrich is suddenly ahead in that state with voters going to the polls there Jan. 31. And that means Romney needs to do well in other states including right here.

Comments (18)
  1. 15 trillion and counting says:

    Any one but omama!!!

    1. Four more years says:

      The way these republican goofs are ripping into each other, Obama can start planning his agenda for the next four years. Republicans can’t even decide which one of these goofballs they want. How sweet it is!!!

      1. sick of people's BS says:

        Oh no. We know who we want the Media just can’t figure it out yet. Watch the polls and you will see the real clear choice for the republican voters and don’t listen to what the media is saying. Really, Tim Pawlenty is going to be a big factor for Romney. Whatever.

  2. 15 trillion and counting says:

    Any one but obama

  3. 15 trillion and counting says:

    any one but osama

    1. @15 boy says:

      Your an idiot.

  4. Orrest says:

    15 trillion is sort of like the precinct caucuses. You can see it is there but in the final outcome totally insignificant. It is a non binding vote therefore in the end it matters little. The party machinery is in control. If you are not in line with the core of the GOP it does not matter what you want in the long run. Ron Paul supporters will be marginalized as they are not core to the GOP. The same could probably be said for Romney supporters. Both in this state are viewed as RINOs. In the end, their supporters will be shut out from the GOP political machine, their views shunned. No delegates at the next level.

  5. Feb. 7th says:

    Go Ron Paul!!! And yes anyone but osama… thanks 15 trillion and counting.

    1. Four more years says:

      Even Ron Paul doesn’t see himself as a serious candidate. So why do you???

      1. Feb 7th says:

        Four more years come back with a SERIOUS reply next time.

      2. Don'tTread says:

        Why do you not?

        1. Don'tTread says:

          Also, Feb 7th. Don’t be an idiot. Barack Obama is not Osama. Don’t disgrace a serious cause with your lunatic comments.

          1. Feb 7th says:

            HAHA. Don’tTrend no duh Osama is not Obama. There is no “lunatic” comments made. I was supporting my candidate and making light of Thanks 15 trillion and counting’s comment. Lighten up because now the only idiotic and lunatic comments are from you.

  6. Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot says:

    I find it very entertaining that Newt Gingrich often expresses his love for this Country; He loves this country so much that he couldn’t afford to deny America his possible leadership as President by being killed in Vietnam, so he avoided the Vietnam War draft through numerous deferments.

  7. Don'tTread says:

    The only positive thing I can see from Newt is his “claims” to support a strong monetary policy and work to neutralize the Fed. Other than that, I don’t understand what people see in this guy. It seems they really feed off his one-liners but fail to see how insignificant their meanings are. Wow, Newt. Good job for telling John King to back off the fedelity question. Why does that all of a sudden mean he’s back on top? What is wrong with people? There is only one candidate who actually has YOUR best interests in mind COMPLETELY.

    1. sick of people's BS says:

      No Politician is out for our best interest EVER!!!! They like to say they are but get them elected and watch the turn around. And if you are trying to say that Obama has our best interest at heart tell me that when we have another terrorist attack which is inevitable.

      1. Don'tTread says:

        Obama? You clearly haven’t seen my previous posts.

  8. Murph says:

    I wonder if they will look up the Pillsbury Dough boys while they are in Minnesota?Hold your nose and make a wish! More vaudeville is coming your way!

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