An already volatile and unpredictable GOP primary season just became more volatile today. Donald Trump’s endorsement, originally thought to be going to Newt Gingrich, is now apparently going to be given to Mitt Romney.
The endorsement will be given officially at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time today, at a luxury hotel in Las Vegas that bears Trump’s name. The Nevada caucuses will be held Saturday.
Trump, who flirted with a presidential run as a Republican or a third-party candidate, also tried to host a debate in Iowa in December. Only Gingrich and Rick Santorum said they would attend, and the debate was eventually cancelled.
A Gingrich endorsement was likely to have had a minimal impact on the Nevada caucus. Romney won the state in 2008 and now has a 20 percentage point lead over Gingrich in the latest polls there. Prematurely announcing a Trump endorsement, though, and then having Romney wind up with the business mogul’s backing would be painful and embarrassing, especially on the heels of Romney’s large win in Florida. It would further signal an erosion of the momentum Gingrich built up from his South Carolina win.
— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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