BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – So much for needing to win the south.
A top Gingrich aide just disclosed that regardless of tonight's results, the campaign will go on, beginning with a fundraising trip to Chicago Wednesday and continuing to the next big battles in Louisiana and Arkansas.
Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond told The Washington Examiner the former House Speaker has no plans to drop out after Tuesday’s results are in, even if he doesn’t win either Alabama or Mississippi.
Gingrich, Hammond said, plans to take the fight for the nomination all the way to the Republican convention in August.
"We are going on," Hammond said. "We are going to Tampa no matter what happens."
Hammond went on to say that the public and Republican establishment will get used to the idea of a brokered convention, where "there is going to be a conversation between delegates” about who will be the best nominee.
Hammond said he did not buy the party’s conventional wisdom that the protracted nomination fight is bad for Republicans or their effort to win back the White House.
"It's tremendously good for the party," Hammond said, because it keeps the candidates and Republicans talking about the issues and the direction of the country.
Hammond walked back a statement he made earlier that Gingrich had to win tonight to remain a credible candidate.
"Whoever said that should be flogged," Hammond joked as the precinct results rolled in on a big-screen television behind him, showing Gingrich in third place.
Hammond said Gingrich is expected to do best in the rural areas, whose results haven't yet been reported.