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POLITICS

Newt hints he'll re-fight state races that he lost

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Newt Gingrich hinted he plans to re-fight old primaries and caucuses at the county convention level, campaigning for delegates that are not legally required to vote for the candidate selected in the popular vote.

"There are a number of states where, for example, Iowa was a popularity contest that day," Gingrich said this morning on Fox and Friends, "but they actually now go for a process at the county conventions of picking -- and then the district and then the state convention -- of picking delegates and they're not legally bound to vote for the winner of the straw poll."

Gingrich's "straw poll" description effectively equates the caucuses with the Ames Straw Poll -- which Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., won, before she placed fifth in the caucuses.

Speaking of Iowa: Ron Paul may have a significant advantage in the event of the county convention floor fight because his supporters disproportionately volunteered to serve as delegates. "Nobody will be watching in June, unless this election gets much more exciting," The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney noted back in January, "but Ron Paul might send more Iowa delegates to Tampa than any other candidate."

Newt Gingrich didn't explicitly say that he would campaign for the delegates he did not previously win, but it's almost certain the process will not play out as usual. "It's going to be very complicated," he concluded this morning.

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