Gingrich to leave Iowa right after caucus

Newt Gingrich will leave the state immediately after Iowa's caucus results are in, in a seeming attempt to minimize the importance of the state's results as he plummets in polls there.

His campaign sent around an invitation for reporters late Thursday night to join Gingrich on a chartered plane to New Hampshire on the night of the caucuses.

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"Please contact me … to reserve a seat on the Newt 2012 charter plane for media from Iowa to New Hampshire on the evening of Tuesday, January 3rd," Gingrich staffer Nathan Naidu wrote in an email. "We tentatively plan to depart Iowa just after caucus results are confirmed."

Candidates almost always stick around Iowa the morning after the caucuses — unless they expect bad news from the results. Mitt Romney's campaign has indicated he will stay in Iowa through the next morning, a change from the 2008 presidential race, when he was on the first plane to New Hampshire after the results were announced.

Gingrich said on Thursday that he would continue his campaign even if he finished outside of the top three in Iowa.

"I think we'll come out of Iowa with enough strength to go to New Hampshire and we'll come out of New Hampshire with enough strength to go to South Carolina," he said on CNBC.

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