WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A “Super PAC” supporting Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich received a new cash infusion from billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, according to a source familiar with the donation.
The Las Vegas tycoon and his family have given nearly $11 million to the group already, almost single-handedly funding the “super” political action committee (PAC), Winning Our Future.
The new contribution, which came in a few days ago, is “substantial” and comparable to previous ones, the source said, although declining to specify the amount. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a specific private donation.
The money comes at a critical moment for Gingrich, whose struggling campaign is hoping to do well enough on March 6 in several conservative states - including his home state of Georgia - to justify staying in the race.
Super PACs - which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to help candidates but are not supposed to coordinate with their campaigns - have spent millions of dollars on advertising, much of it negative.
Winning Our Future played a pivotal role for Gingrich just weeks ago, funding a media blitz against Mitt Romney and helping Gingrich win South Carolina’s vote in the state-by-state contest to choose the Republican candidate to challenge Democratic President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.
Since that stunning January 21 win, the Super PAC and the former U.S. House of Representatives speaker himself have taken a back seat to the duel between Romney and Rick Santorum, the most recent candidate to surge and take over Gingrich’s place as the anti-Romney option sought by many conservatives.
With the new money, the Super PAC is creating three new ads, the source said. One of them takes a stab at Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, and two show Gingrich’s supporters speaking about their choice.
The ads will run in four of the 10 “Super Tuesday” states that vote on March 6: Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Ohio. They will also air in Kansas, which votes on March 10, and Alabama and Mississippi, which vote on March 13.
Gingrich is focused on a southern strategy for Super Tuesday, hoping that he will be back in the game if he does well in his home state of Georgia, as well as Oklahoma, Tennessee and other conservative states where he thinks Romney will fare poorly.
A loss in Georgia would deal a severe blow to any chance Gingrich has for the Republican nomination.
The deep-pocketed pro-Romney Super PAC, Restore Our Future, has continued to run anti-Gingrich ads in Georgia and has bought some $1.1 million worth of air time through Super Tuesday on top of another $82,000 in Internet advertising against Gingrich.