Newt Gingrich talks to 9 News

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons Gage Skidmore
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons Gage Skidmore

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Commercials for the top three republican nominees are hoping to sway Louisiana voters ahead of Saturday's primary with 46 delegates up for grabs.

WAFB'S political analyst Jim Engster said Rick Santorum is favored to win Louisiana with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich trailing behind.

"At this point, it looks daunting for speaker Gingrich," said Engster.

"You're coming in number three in majority of the polls.  A lot of people would ask why are you still running?," asked Kiran Chawla.

"I think because the big ideas really matter, and the chance to communicate and expand them matters, and I think we might end up in a wide-open convention," said Gingrich.

This week, "Magellan Strategies Baton Rouge" polled how Louisianians will vote.  Again, that confirms Engster's predictions, but if Gingrich were to drop out, the poll shows Santorum would have a 21% lead over Romney.  But the former house speaker said Louisiana and the rest of the country need him.

"I want Louisiana to get 50% of the royalties from offshore drilling.  That would give the state the money to rebuild the wetlands, which is very important because 1/4 of all the seafood in America comes from Louisiana," said Gingrich.

"You personally, how do you feel right now with where America stands," asked Chawla.

"We need really, really big changes in Washington.  Washington is making our lives harder," said Gingrich.

Mr. Gingrich called the upcoming presidential election the most important of any lifetime.  Even though the three are up against each other, they have common goals: to take over the White House and overcome the country's biggest issue.

"I think our state is like the rest of the nation.  We want someone to solve the problems of the economy," said Engster.

"A lot of Americans are slowly but surely starting to give up on politicians because it feels like a lot of things are about party lines and not about the people.  What do you say to those people?" asked Chawla.

"That they're right, that in fact what you got to do is insist to put the country above the party," said Gingrich.

In the case that Gingrich doesn't make the final cut, he said he will support the Republican nominee.

Meanwhile, Romney plans to stop in Shreveport on Friday.

Ron Paul also plans to hold campaign events in Louisiana on Friday.

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