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Gingrich's convention problem

<p>&lt;p&gt;Newt Gingrich has so far ignored calls to end his failing presidential campaign, and checked in with Fox News&amp;#039; Sean Hannity last night to

Newt Gingrich has so far ignored calls to end his failing presidential campaign, and checked in with Fox News' Sean Hannity last night to explain that he can still win the presidential nomination, primary and caucus results notwithstanding.

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As Gingrich sees it, if no candidate has the 1,144 delegates needed to claim the nomination before the convention, there will be a "60-day conversation" among Republican officials "after June 26."

"Santorum won't have a majority; I won't have a majority; Romney won't; Ron Paul won't. If that's what happens, then we will have a real conversation about who can best beat Barack Obama. I think that most Republicans agree that if the key is to debate the president, he will have a billion-dollar campaign fund."If the key is who can take him on head to head, I think I am proving every day with this energy campaign, that I can take on Obama, that I can design strategies that put him in a huge disadvantage.... If I can convince the republican delegates of that, I think we have a chance to win the nomination by the time we get to the convention."

That's nice rhetoric, I suppose, but there's a relevant detail the former Speaker may not be aware of.

First Read reported today on an RNC rule I hadn't heard about before: "Candidates seeking the nomination must have won a plurality of votes in at least five states" before the convention. Gingrich has won two, and seems unlikely to pull together three more victories.

RNC Chairman Reince Preibus said on msnbc this morning, "It's an important rule. So when these candidates are adding up their delegates or when people out there have a particular issue that they would like to move at the convention, they had better make sure they at least have a plurality of five states to make these things happen."

A source close to the Gingrich campaign told First Read, "Obviously we need to win some more states."

Well, yes. But since three more Gingrich wins seem highly unlikely, it makes the former Speaker's bid that much more futile.