Just weeks after leading the rest on the Republican field by double digits in the Hawkeye State, Newt Gingrich now says he doesn’t expect to win Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses.
“I don’t think I’m going to win,” the former House speaker told reporters on Monday. “If you look at the numbers, that volume of negativity has done enough damage. But on the other hand, if the Des Moines Register was right and 41 percent [are] potentially undecided, who knows what’s going to happen.”
“Whatever I do tomorrow night will be a victory because I’m still standing,” he added.
After a series of strong debate performances in the fall, Gingrich saw his once moribund campaign suddenly surge to front-runner status. And by December, Gingrich was confidently telling reporters he had the election all sewn up.
“I’m going to be the nominee,” he told ABC News’ Jake Tapper at the time. “It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee.”
According to the Des Moines Register poll released late Saturday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is leading in Iowa with the support of 24 percent of likely caucus-goers. He is followed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul with 22 percent, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum with 15 percent and Gingrich with 12 percent.