Why Californians Should Root for Newt

"Go Newt!"

You may not be hearing that cheer on the streets of California.

But you should be. Because California voters are more likely to have more of a say in the presidential campaign if Newt Gingrich wins the Florida primary on Tuesday.

California pushed back its primary to June this year -- near the very end of the presidential selection process. That move came in part to save money and in part because moving the primary up to February hadn't given the state the influence it had sought in choosing the nominees of the major parties.

The problem is that, with the primary in June, California may have no influence at all. That's almost certain to be the sad case if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney wins in Florida -- a triumph that would might help him wrap up the nomination early, well before Californians vote in June.

But if Gingrich wins, a long nomination fight becomes more likely. And a long fight is good for California, since we vote last.

Should it matter if California weighs in on the nominee? Yes. We have the most people. And even though this is a Democratic state, California has millions of Republican voters -- more than any other state, save (in recent yeras) Texas. A race that is decided without California isn't truly a national race.

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