p>BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Barely audible above the murmurs of disappointment at Newt Gingrich's election-night party Tuesday, were a few half-hearted bursts of optimism from supporters trying to make sense of how the only Southern candidate in the Republican presidential race could have failed to win either of the Deep South races.
"Next time!" one shouted, pumping a fist in the air.
"At least he didn't end up in third place," another reasoned.
But in reality Gingrich's future in the 2012 Republican race couldn't look less promising following twin losses in Mississippi and Alabama Tuesday and in the face of mounting pressure from inside the party for him to quit.
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