Chris Cillizza refutes his own argument:
Regardless of whether Newt knows it or not, his chances of remaining a major player in this race effectively ended with his second place finishes in Mississippi and Alabama....
Santorum started with leads [in Michigan and Ohio] and watched them evaporate amid a series of unforced errors and heavy spending from Romney and his Restore Our Future super PAC. If that pattern repeats itself in Illinois in six days time, Santorum’s last, best chance will disappear.
As would any anti-Romney resistance movement, should Gingrich have absented himself.
Mitt's precision bombing campaign has been well underway in Illinois for days now, and it's my understanding that Santorum has yet to spend a dime. If the Romney war machine dispatches Santorum to the point of humiliation, the latter's future, as Cillizza notes, would darken considerably. What, then, is the next logical step? Exactly. The recycling of Newt Gingrich, again.
But he can't recycle himself if he withdraws from the race. So, like Newt, I just don't see the benefit of his slithering into the night. Not yet.