ADVERTISEMENT

This is after Gingrich missed the deadline for appearing on Missouri's ballot — a less embarrassing oversight because Missouri delegates to the Republican convention are assigned through a caucus, rather than the primary vote.

At the time, Hammond dismissed concerns about missing the filing deadline, arguing the move was intentional.

"We deal in elections that actually deal in delegates," he said. Gingrich has called the Missouri primary a "beauty contest."

But even more troubling for the campaign may be Gingrich's financial circumstances.

Gingrich owed nearly $1.2 million at the end of September, and the candidate is just now addressing that debt according to the The Washington Post.

The Post cited "extravagant spending on $30,000 jet flights and upscale hotels" for Gingrich's "unusually high" debt load — spending almost $3 for every $2 he raised and digging a deep financial hole. Now that the Gingrich campaign is heating up and conservative donors are rallying around him, his team has been forced to spend money on digging out of its existing financial hole rather than on new staff and organizational infrastructure.

Those numbers become even more troubling relative to Mitt Romney, who has raised tens of millions thus far in the campaign and been relatively conservative with his spending. Romney carried no debt and $14 million in the bank at the end of the third quarter, according to FEC filings.

Gingrich has disputed the characterization that his campaign is in trouble, saying that he is only struggling by an outdated paradigm used by the political establishment.

"I find it fascinating, we have all these articles about businesses getting leaner, flattening their hierarchies ... all these cutting-edge ideas. And then you have a group of consultants who feel you need to be slow, cumbersome, and expensive. Well, if you were the consultants, you'd feel that way too because that's your money. We run a very decentralized campaign ... and it works," Gingrich said at a press conference Monday.

And while Gingrich admitted that those in his campaign "certainly fly by the seat of our pants," he argued it allowed him to be more responsive to breaking news and new turns in the campaign trail.

It's also possible that Gingrich will organically build up enough grassroots support to overcome the shortfalls of his campaign so far. Real Clear Politics poll averages show Gingrich up by 12 percentage points in Iowa, 18 percentage points in South Carolina, and 11 percentage points nationally.