South Carolina: Romney 29, Gingrich 24, Paul 15, Santorum 14

posted at 6:22 pm on January 13, 2012 by Allahpundit

Strikingly similar to what Rasmussen found earlier today so it’s a safe bet that this is what the vote actually looks like right now. Make a mental note of this spread so that we can use it later to measure how well Newt’s Bain attacks played in the state. Barring some sort of calamitous Romney stumble at Thursday’s debate, that’s probably the only thing capable of moving the needle dramatically over the next week. Interestingly, Mitt’s net favorables are already down seven points over the past week while Newt’s are up four points. Hmmmmm.

Things haven’t changed too much at the top in the last week. Romney is down 1 point from his pre-New Hampshire standing, while Gingrich has gained a point. There’s more movement in the middle. Paul has gained 6 points to move into 3rd place, while Santorum has dropped by 5 points. Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman have each picked up a single point and remain in 5th and 6th place respectively.

Why is Romney winning South Carolina? Voters there are overwhelmingly focused on the economy this year and that’s working to his advantage. 39% say jobs and the economy are their top issue, closely followed by 34% who pick government spending and reducing the debt. Asked who they trust most on economic issues 35% pick Romney to 25% for Gingrich, 16% for Paul, and 10 for Santorum. And despite the attacks on it this week Romney’s business background is an asset for him. 58% have a favorable opinion of his record in business to just 27% with a negative view of it…

South Carolinians, more so than we’ve found in New Hampshire and Iowa, are concerned about electability. 50% say they’re most concerned about a candidate’s ability to beat Barack Obama, while 37% place a bigger priority on the candidate’s positions on the issues. New Hampshire voters were more concerned about issue stances by a 55-37 margin on that question and Iowa voters were by a 54/31 spread. The more voters care about electability, the better Romney’s chances are and he leads Gingrich 35-27 with those folks.

Rasmussen also detected Santorum’s support fading, and no wonder: PPP notes that just four percent of voters say social issues are their top concern, and even there, Santorum leads Romney by just two points. What’s odd is that it’s Paul, not Gingrich or Perry, who seems to be picking up Santorum’s slack. I don’t know how to explain that unless a big chunk of Santorum’s boost after Iowa was simply undecideds who were disaffected with both Romney and Gingrich giving him a first look. Some of them didn’t like what they saw, but rather than switch to Perry or Huntsman, both of whom seem dead in the water and likely to be out 10 days from now (Huntsman’s staffers are reportedly already looking for the exits), they’re moving towards the lone remaining guy who’s in it for the long haul. That’s as good a sign as you can get that there’s no last-second surge coming for Perry. If he dropped out now and endorsed Gingrich, that could pull Newt almost even for the lead, but I think he’s determined to play this out. You know who that benefits?

CNN is out with a new national poll tonight and Romney leads there too, of course: Mitt 34, Newt 18, Paul 15, Santorum 15. How’s he doing it? With electability, yes, but there’s more to it than that. Scott Rasmussen notes that Mitt Romney might actually be … the tea-party candidate:

Looking ahead to the Florida primary, 94 percent of tea party Republicans say they will vote for whomever wins the GOP nomination. Only 77 percent of non-tea party Republicans are willing to make the same pledge. This commitment to party loyalty comes even though tea party activists are less convinced than others that Romney is the strongest general election candidate. Similar results have been found in survey after survey in the 2012 primary season.

The pragmatism of the tea party is confirmed by exit polling data conducted for The Associated Press and major television networks in New Hampshire. Among those who support the tea party, 44 percent said the ability to beat President Obama was the most important quality they wanted in a candidate. Nothing else came close.

However, among those who oppose the tea party, only 19 percent put electability first. Fifty-three percent of this group said experience is the most important quality. In other words, the supposedly more pragmatic Republicans think it’s more important to have a candidate with experience in the current political system than it is to have a candidate who can beat Obama.

Saying that you’ll vote for whoever’s the nominee in the interest of beating Obama isn’t the same as saying you hope Romney’s the nominee, but remember that Mitt won easily among tea partiers in New Hampshire. If TPers are convinced that he’s the most electable option in the field, it only stands to reason that they’d start holding their noses and voting for him now in order to play their strongest hand against The One in November. The tea party’s not supposed to be an “anybody but Obama” movement — it wasn’t even an “anybody but Coons” movement in Delaware in 2010 — but maybe, after trillions in new debt and O’s endless rhetoric about people paying their “fair share,” that’s how it’s shaken out. Just get Obama out and get anyone else in.

One other detail from PPP: 34 percent of voters say they’d be “unwilling to vote for a candidate who had supported an individual mandate for health care at the state level.” Good thing no one’s told them there’s a candidate like that running this year! Exit quotation from a Romney advisor, commenting on conservatives’ failure to consolidate against him: “A real movement would have found a horse.”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:44 PM

That’s not a fair analogy. Unless being epileptic meant you’re denied the same benefits that non-epileptics get.

But, on the subject, why isn’t anybody talking about how single people are discriminated against? How about nobody gets extra-equal status.

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Isn’t gay marriage on the ballot every election cycle now? Gay marriage advocates at least get to vote on the issue, pro-lifers don’t get to vote on abortion. I’d rather be in your shoes as a gay marriage advocate.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:50 PM

gyrmnix,

Society gets to decide how society is set up. It is majority rules. If you don’t like that, you just have to deal. I don’t like being overtaxed but peole like you vote in politicians like Obama. Life isn’t fair.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:47 PM

I would agree that it’s big government when done at the state level. But, we’re dealing with federal level politics.

If the government must decide what is and isn’t marriage, I’d prefer it at the state level. The states are able to represent their constituents far better than the federal government.

But, being an anarcho-capitalist, I’d prefer neither exist. :)

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 9:52 PM

The point of marriage is the fact that women and men hooking up can lead to kids.

Gays hooking does not lead to kids.

That’s the unfair analogy that you want to force. You want to overlook that big distintiction as though it’s hair splitting.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:54 PM

But, being an anarcho-capitalist

Whatever that means. You seem to be into this weird self analysis of your political beliefs, like David Brooks.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:55 PM

I don’t even care about gay marriage yet I’m crushing the gay marriage advocates like Reagan did Mondale in 84.

Booo-yah!

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM

As I think they say in Texas, it’s time for Rick Perry to “put on his spurs and saddle up.”

Al Gore’s former campaign manager in Texas needs to implement his “Virginia Strategy” in South Carolina. Desperate times call for desperate action.

Perry should threaten to sue anyone in federal “By Gawd!” court who doesn’t vote for him in the South Carolina primary. Texas “Hardball” at its finest.

Of course, if SC and Florida going “belly-up” for Ol’ Rick, he still has time to prepare for the annual Gay Rodeo in Fort Worth, March 2-4, billed as a “Texas Tradition.” “Ride ‘im, cowboy(?)” Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Vote Perry or Be Sued! Giddy-up!

Horace on January 13, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:50 PM

A while back I linked a Gallup poll on gay marriage from back in May that had pro gay marriage at 51%. The support is there, just apparently not energized enough to go to the polls.

I also think the GOP needs to move to the states rights position before society leaves it behind. Opposition to gay marriage is steadily dying.

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM

I’d define “crushing the … advocates” as swaying the other’s opinion. You’ve done nothing of the sort. But, it has been an enjoyable exchange of beliefs. One of the better ones I’ve had here.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Anarcho-capitalism.

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Gays hooking does not lead to kids…

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Also men hooking up with men isn’t supposed lead to anything. The gay culture is not built around the family. Family = sacrifice. “Gay” culture is about hedonism. The gay men that I have befriended(plutonic!) did not dream of a future Mr. Right with a white picket fence and 2.5 kids.

BoxHead1 on January 13, 2012 at 10:03 PM

BoxHead1 on January 13, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Funny, neither did most of my straight friends.

But, am I to infer that there is no hedonism in the “straight” culture?

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Opposition to gay marriage is steadily dying.

I always here this but it gets voted down when it’s on the ballot, even in liberal Califnoria.

I’ll support opposition gay marriage being a Republican position until I’m convinced it’s losing elections for us. It’s really the social conservativism that propels Republicans to victory, along with tax cuts. We aren’t going to out-gay the Democratic party at this point, so we may as well get votes out of being anti-gay marriage. Most Republicans support civil unions and I don’t know what the hell the difference is other than the name. It basically seems like a arguement over semantics now.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM

But, am I to infer that there is no hedonism in the “straight” culture?

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM

No,no. Straight culture is full of hedonism, porn, drug use, over eating…

But there is 1 aspect to straight culture which sets it apart by it’s the very definition of straight(in terms of life path).

That’s the hope for a monogamous relationship and a life built on that relationship. Gay culture does not value this relationship more then the “free love” option.

BoxHead1 on January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

I think it’s kind of funny that people are advocating we give benefits to people simply because they enjoy stickin their know what in some other dude’s you know what. Big government denying thtem goodies for THAT is considered “big government”?

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:18 PM

I have seizures, I want the government to give me tax breaks for it, just as logical as giving tax breaks to somebody simply because he enjoys sticking his you know what in another man’s you know what.

It is a fair analogy.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM

BoxHead1 on January 13, 2012 at 10:15 PM

That’s a sweeping generalization of an entire culture. It’s like saying this is representative of Americans (fair warning, the link may make you lose your appetite and possibly make you question your sexuality).

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM

How about this, we shouldn’t be giving tax breaks to people who want to stick his you know what in a woman’s you know what.

It’s not a fair analogy unless epileptics are denied rights afforded to non-epileptics.

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM

That’s a sweeping generalization of an entire culture. ..gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM

You’re right, I shouldn’t call it a culture. It’s the nature of Men. Woman and Men are not interchangeable. They are different. A monogamous relationship is very hard to do with 2 Men and much easier(still not easy) with a man and woman. It should be obvious why.

BoxHead1 on January 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM

We’re not going to out black the democrat party either. Should we appeal to the racists by calling for the repeal of the 13th amendment?

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM

How about this, we shouldn’t be giving tax breaks to people who want to stick his you know what in a woman’s you know what.

It’s not a fair analogy unless epileptics are denied rights afforded to non-epileptics.

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Both epilepsy and homosexuality are abnormal human behavoir/conditions. Why must government reward it?

You keep igorning the fact that only man and women produce kids, which is the real purpose of sex. It’s not the sexual activity that is being rewarded and recognized, it’s the relationship b/t man and woman in terms of fa family and kids.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM

The reality is gays and blacks are close minded on politics.

Why pander to them? No Republican that I know of supports intolerance of blacks or gays.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM

I just saw the link. If she’d lose the tongue ring then she’s actually in my ballpark.

BoxHead1 on January 13, 2012 at 10:30 PM

I think everybody that is abnormal is anyway should get tax breaks if we give them to gay people simply b/c they are gay.

It’s a matter of fairness, equal protection under the law, right?

Why should one abnormal group of people, homosexuals, get government goodies while other abnormal people including epileptic freaks like me are discriminated against?

WHy must other freaks of natures like me live in the shadows of society and not get government perks for it?

Let’s face it, epilepsy makes life harder on people than being gay.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:31 PM

I’m gone. The last generation retrograde perspective has been added. Thanks you

BoxHead1 on January 13, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Because one guy has different preferences than you makes them abnormal?

I mean, I hate everything about baseball, does that make me abnormal? A buddy of mine prefers fat women, is he abnormal? Another friend of mine prefers tall, lanky men, is she abnormal?

Another friend of mine is heavily into BDSM. She obviously shouldn’t be allowed to marry. But, the joke’s on us, she already is.

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM

A homosexual who denies it’s abnormal isn’t being honest with himself or herself. Men and women were meant to be sexually attracted to each other. This is self evident.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Another friend of mine is heavily into BDSM. She obviously shouldn’t be allowed to marry. But, the joke’s on us, she already is.

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM

When you make up just 4 or 5% of the world, you are abnormal, you are not normal.
If you weigh over 500 lbs, you are abnormal…that’s the definition.

: deviating from the normal or average : unusual,

If you are 7 feet tall, you are abnormal. If you are homosexual, you are abnormal, seeing as hetero is normal, any deviation that moves away from that 95+% is abnormal.

right2bright on January 13, 2012 at 11:06 PM

When I see a man impregnate another man, I’ll conceded homosexuality is normal. Good luck with that. :)

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 11:08 PM

He wouldn’t be wasting time on the Bain capital stuff, which is just creating sympathy for Romney.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 7:39 PM

If that were true, Newt’s and Perry’s numbers wouldn’t be rising right now while Mitt’s down a bit. In SC, the Bain attacks seem to be hurting Mitt and helping the others.

Newt’s the one with the SuperPAC making films about Bain and yet, Newt’s numbers are going up (he polled twice at 18% just on the 5th; he’s UP).

Newt’s being up gives me good hope for a rise for Perry as well because it shows that attacking Bain is not hurting.

Aslans Girl on January 13, 2012 at 11:10 PM

right2bright on January 13, 2012 at 11:06 PM

I misstated my point. Is abnormality a reason to discriminate?

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM

If that were true, Newt’s and Perry’s numbers wouldn’t be rising right now while Mitt’s down a bit. In SC, the Bain attacks seem to be hurting Mitt and helping the others.

Newt’s the one with the SuperPAC making films about Bain and yet, Newt’s numbers are going up (he polled twice at 18% just on the 5th; he’s UP).

Newt’s being up gives me good hope for a rise for Perry as well because it shows that attacking Bain is not hurting.

Aslans Girl on January 13, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Hey if the Bain Capital ads take out Romney, i don’t have a problem with it. But I think he’s going to be the nominee and then Gingrich and Perry will have mainstreamed the leftwing line of attack on Bain capital.

It just seems to me you should be able to defeat Romney with his liberal record as govenor and his consistent inconsistency on the issues. Bain Capital could be used to poke holes in the myth of Romney’s superior electablity but it’s getting out of hand when you start attacking these companies in a general sense.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 11:49 PM

misstated my point. Is abnormality a reason to discriminate?

gyrmnix on January 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Is an abnormality a reason to give certain people government goodies? Why are homosexuals the only abnormal group that expects perks for it from the government?

You say you want the government out of your sex life while at the same time you want to force it to recognize your gay relationship. You are trying to have it both ways.

Dr. Tesla on January 13, 2012 at 11:53 PM

PERRY MOST QUALIFIED, MOST ELECTABLE AND MOST HONORABLE

The latest “Perry Woman” video ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mt7c4mQbaZ4

nancysabet on January 14, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3