Georgia primary may not be a Gingrich slam dunk

By Shannon Mccaffrey

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Feb. 9 2012 12:30 a.m. MST

"Gov. Romney is the only one with a background in private enterprise, who created jobs," Olens said. "He can absolutely win Georgia."

Romney, he said, is planning to return to Georgia for at least one more public appearance before March 6.

The true test of whether Romney makes a serious play for Georgia would come if he or any of the political action committees supporting him were to invest money in TV ads in the state. Forcing Gingrich to defend Georgia could also be a feint by Romney, a move designed to distract Gingrich from other states where he needs more time to make inroads with voters.

At his rally Wednesday in Atlanta, Romney made only a passing reference to Gingrich, noting that Gingrich and Santorum had "spent a lot of time in Washington." At the mention of Gingrich's name the crowd of several hundred booed loudly.

Outside, six people stood with small homemade signs supporting the former congressman.

Rep. Phil Gingrey, another Gingrich backer from Georgia, acknowledged that Georgia would be a fight with Santorum and Paul still in the race, peeling off conservative voters.

"I do believe Newt will win Georgia," he said, "but it will be closer than it otherwise might have been."

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