Newt Gingrich: Loss in Michigan could spell the end of Bernie Sanders' chances

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on “Fox & Friends” Monday that Tuesday’s primary contests in six states where Democrats will go to the polls for the first time since Super Tuesday is “enormously important” for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and he must prove he's resilient -- or else.

“If he [Sanders] loses Michigan, which I think now he's likely to, I think it's almost the end of his campaign because he desperately needs to prove that he can make a comeback,” the Fox News contributor said.

“Michigan is a state where he shocked Hillary Clinton in 2016,” Gingrich pointed out, adding that he might be able to get “35, 40 percent of the delegates, [but] it’s very hard to see how he gets to a majority if he can't carry Michigan.”

Voters on Tuesday will assign 9 percent of the total delegates to the Democratic National Convention, meaning 53 percent of the total available delegates will still lie ahead. Michigan is the largest available prize for candidates with 125 delegates.

On Monday, Gingrich had referenced Sanders' 2016 win in Michigan, which helped him extend his primary battle against Hillary Clinton. However, Joe Biden's Super Tuesday win in nearby Minnesota may be a positive indicator for the former VP.

On Tuesday, voters will be faced with a race that's taken on a dramatically different shape in the past two weeks with Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg all dropping out of the race to endorse Biden before Elizabeth Warren also suspended her campaign. (She has not endorsed anyone yet.)

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“I was really struck that as weak as Biden is and if you watch all his various goofs, it’s sort of amazing, as weak as he is, he wasn't as weak as the rest of them and that's really an amazing comment on what's happened to the Democratic Party,” Gingrich said on Monday, referencing Biden’s gaffes. “The movie ‘Dumb and Dumber’ reminded me that this is kind of weird and weirder and that's what the Democrats have gotten down to.”

Despite his gaffes, Biden has momentum following a dominant win in South Carolina and a Super Tuesday romp that included victories in 10 states. He leads Sanders in delegates 664 to 573 as of Monday morning, with Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard the only other candidate yet to suspend her campaign. (She has just two total delegates.)

Gingrich said people “just discount” Biden’s gaffes “just as the people who love Donald Trump discount all of his tweets.”

“He [Biden] may say, ‘Let's go out and vote on Super Thursday’ or he may forget entirely the opening of the Declaration of Independence," Gingrich said. "The number of gaffes he’s made is sort of amazingly unending, but people just kind of shrug it off and say, ‘Oh that's just Joe, you know he’s a good guy, he’s got a big heart. He may not have a big brain, but he’s got a big heart.'"

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Biden, Gingrich observed, is "kind of the big heart candidate." For "hardline anti-Trump" voters, the former House speaker said, Biden is their only option if they feel Sanders is too radical to win in November.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.