Gingrich picks up major Iowa endorsement

Newt Gingrich's campaign may be in free fall, but that hasn't stopped an influential social conservative from endorsing him.

Long time former WHO radio host Steve Deace has come out in support of the former speaker.

Washington Post:

"Sadly, there are only two candidates offering a real means by which to actually undo that which the Left has done to this country for the past 50 years, and not just conservative platitudes," Deace writes in his endorsement of Gingrich. "One of those candidates is Ron Paul, but his foreign policy is naive at best and reckless at worst. The other is Newt Gingrich, who has campaigned on what I believe is the most important issue facing us as a people-the loss of the rule of law."

Deace praises Gingrich's "vital" assistance in last year's Iowa judicial retention effort, which resulted in the ouster of three state Supreme Court justices who in 2009 ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage.

Gingrich provided $200,000 in "seed money" in that effort, according to The Associated Press, and has made the issue of judges a central part of his message in his push to win over Iowa conservatives.

Deace - who was among Romney's most vocal critics in 2008 - writes in his endorsement of Gingrich that "electing another Obamney from the ruling class changes nothing. Electing another nice conservative with no proven ability to govern or a killer instinct to take on the system changes nothing, even if it makes us all feel warm and fuzzy inside."

Deace backed Huckabee in 2008 which proved very beneficial to the former Arkansas governor. Huckabee won the caucuses based largely on the network of social conservative activists who flocked to caucus sites to support him.

But Huckabee was already popular among the social right before Deace's blessing. This time around, social conservatives appear to be splitting their vote three ways - Perry, Santorum, and Bachmann. If Gingrich could pick up a few more supporters from the religious right, it might improve his showing (he currently stands 4th or 5th in the polls.)

Regardless, given Gingrich's checkered past, the endorsement of a prominent social conservative can do nothing but help his struggling campaign.

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