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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — With his presidential campaign ailing, Newt Gingrich is hoping for a boost from North Carolina.

The former speaker of the U.S. House will make two campaign stops in Raleigh today, meeting with Republican and independent black voters and having lunch at a restaurant.

The visit comes a day after Gingrich said his campaign has nearly $4.5 million in debt and that he expects rival Mitt Romney to win the GOP nomination. Gingrich says he’s staying in the race to influence the party’s platform.

Gingrich was briefly the frontrunner after his surprise January 21 victory in the South Carolina primary, but he has been a distant third since then, trailing Romney and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

The North Carolina primary is May 8.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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