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Despite lagging, Newt Gingrich says nation needs visionary

ELGIN, Ill. -- Newt Gingrich is still out there fighting for the Republican presidential nomination, invoking the Bible and Abraham Lincoln as he pushes the idea that America badly needs "a visionary conservative."

"I've stayed in the race because I think Proverbs is right," he told an appreciative audience at Judson University. "It warns that without vision, people will perish."

Gingrich is given little chance of winning the Republican nomination.

He said his campaign is having a "halftime resetting of the game plan," and he plans to talk more about "big ideas" involving space, brain science, energy and other topics. He promised "a much clearer definition of a visionary conservative."

But his path to victory is daunting. His hope to gain momentum in the South crumbled Tuesday, when he lost crucial primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. He's trying for a comeback in Illinois, which holds its primary Tuesday, but polling shows him a distant third. Yet he still draws good crowds.

"Many people are impressed by some aspect of Gingrich but repelled by some other," said Brian Gaines, a professor of political science at the University of Illinois.