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Today's Primaries: Gingrich's Swan Song Or Reason To Remain?

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich earlier this month in New York City.
Spencer Platt
Getty Images
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich earlier this month in New York City.

Nothing about what happens during today's Republican presidential primaries in five states is expected to change the fact that Mitt Romney is the presumptive/expected/presumed/inevitable (pick your favorite word) nominee.

Polls are open in Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. There are 209 convention delegates at stake and Romney could pull off a five-state sweep.

But — and there's always a but — there's this:

"Newt Gingrich has got a new hope: the tiny but dangerous state of Delaware," Politico reports. While Romney has invested time in the other states, he's mostly ignored Delaware. Gingrich, though, "has spent most of his time recently" in that state. So, there's a chance he could pull off a victory there today.

It's not that a win in Delaware would change anything. Romney would still be on track to have the 1,144 delegates needed for the nomination by some time in May. "But it would be an irritating distraction for the Romney campaign, which continues to struggle with the party's base," Politico writes, and it would give Gingrich something to point to if he decides to stay in the race after today.

But — and there's almost always a second but — there's also this:

If Gingrich doesn't do well in Delaware, his spokesman has "suggested the former House speaker may reassess his candidacy," CBS News says.

Polls close in Delaware at 8 p.m. ET.

Check It's All Politics for more on the 2012 campaign.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.