South Carolina poll: Gingrich by six?

posted at 4:35 pm on January 19, 2012 by Allahpundit

Something to whet your appetite for tonight’s Thunderdome debate. Could Newtmentum really have shot him to a six-point lead after he trailed Romney by double digits just a few days ago? Note that PPP’s data comes from a one-day snapshot, which means a smaller-than-usual sample, which in turn means a larger-than-usual margin of error of five points. Newt’s may very well be leading right now, but … by six?

Even so, as I write this, InTrade gives him a 42.5 percent chance of winning on Saturday. After Perry’s endorsement, Palin’s quasi-endorsement, and Santorum’s fade, who wants to bet against him?

This is not a case of Romney imploding. His support has been pretty steady in the 28-30% range in our South Carolina polling so far. But Gingrich has risen from 23% to 34% over the last two weeks, benefiting from declining support for Santorum and also from undecided voters moving into his camp.

It’s clear that the debate Monday night did a lot to help Gingrich’s prospects in the state. 56% of voters say they watched it, and with those folks Gingrich’s lead over Romney is 43-27. Romney still has a 29-22 advantage on Gingrich with those who didn’t tune in.

Gingrich is starting to consolidate his support with some of the more conservative parts of the South Carolina electorate. He has a 50-18 advantage on Romney with Tea Party voters. He’s up 39-23 with those describing themselves as ‘very conservative.’ And he even has a 37-20 advantage with evangelicals.

Perry’s supporters actually divide fairly evenly among the rest of the field when you ask them who their second choice is. Maybe his endorsement today will change that, but even if it doesn’t, it’s useful to Newt as further evidence that he’s the anointed Not Romney in the field, not Santorum. If Santorum finishes a distant third or even fourth this weekend, the commentariat will be all over him next week to drop out and then maybe Florida will become interesting. I still think Romney wins there because he’s the only one with the money and organization to play hard, but what happens if Newt has another stellar debate tonight and shocks the world with a landslide on Saturday? Romney can handle finishing second in SC, but if he gets blown out the media will go nuts with stories about a resounding rejection from the southern base and his mystique of inevitability being shattered. For now, at least, Team Mitt is putting on a brave face:

“South Carolina is like Iowa — an opportunity that we never thought we would get,” [a Romney campaign] source said. “If you dust Newt up there so that Santorum stays alive, Newt gets no traction heading into Florida, where he has no structure, and then into a month, February, where there is no obvious good state. Points fell off Newt fast when voters were reminded of his entirety, not just his facility as a debate presence.”

The source said the Romney campaign’s goal in South Carolina remains the 34 percent John McCain won here in 2008, which the campaign estimates will be enough to win, so long as conservatives don’t consolidate around either Gingrich or Santorum. And the campaign is not worried about Santorum.

That was published yesterday afternoon. There’s been a fair amount of consolidation in the 27 hours since — 100 tea-party leaders from 25 states are reportedly set to endorse Newt today — and there may be more to come tonight depending upon how things go on CNN. Good to know that we finally have an a Not Romney. Too bad it’s a guy who was famously unpopular the last time he held major public office, who couldn’t pull it together enough to get on the ballot in his home state, who’s flirted with the individual mandate and cap-and-trade, and whose penchant for loose-cannon grand pronouncements is guaranteed to generates oodles of “unhelpful” news cycles if he’s the nominee. Come next week, your choice will be between him, Captain Flipflop, and Ron Paul. Worst field ever. Ever.


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And they do have something in common with a socialist who’s wrecked the economy?

alchemist19 on January 19, 2012 at 6:25 PM

No, but Obama will articulate their fears of a wealthy monarchist from a white castle firing them from their job better than Romney will be able to articulate the reality that Obama is a socialist that has wrecked the economy.

William Eaton on January 19, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Even so, as I write this, InTrade gives him a 42.5 percent chance of winning on Saturday. After Perry’s endorsement, Palin’s quasi-endorsement, and Santorum’s fade, who wants to bet against him?

At 3pm yesterday (right before the Drudge headline); Romney’s SC contract was trading at 94 (not a typo).

Since then, he has collapsed down to the 50s and is still trending lower.

Let’s face it:

1. Debates matter, and Newt is 10x better at it than Mittens.
2. Palin yields a lot of power.

Norwegian on January 19, 2012 at 6:30 PM

hmmm Dewey lost thus was unelectable.

LMAO! Really? Obviously you didn’t think that one through…

Bush the first lost his re-election because watching wet paint dry was more exciting. And bush the second is still the most hated politican in the country. clinton won 2 terms and him and his wife are two of the most popular politicans in the country.

unseen on January 19, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Spoken like a true MSNBC pundit. Resist we much?

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:30 PM

unseen, do you think there’s chance Palin might get in late? Now that conservative field is whittled down and Mittens isn’t so inevitable? After all what’s to lose if it’s a contest between her and Newt?

promachus on January 19, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I thought TODAY was wild !
Tonight we get to hear john King snort/clear his throat for an hour or more ??
God help me.

pambi on January 19, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Was it frustrating for you to have such slim pickings?

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:28 PM

you’re really not a very good troll

MTLassen on January 19, 2012 at 6:32 PM

That statement would be fine if the GOP primaries alone determined who would be the next president. However, this race will be won among Independents, who may or may not give a damn about the Contract with America from 18 years ago. Between Newty and Romney who is more likely to produce a series of soundbites that the Left will distort and use against him, fairly or not?

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:15 PM

If Mitt is the nominee he will spend half if not more of the time trying to shore up his right base. And the independents will not be enough to carry him to the win when half the converative base sits home or votes third party. Ask Bush the first, McCain, Dole how those independents helped them when their conservative base left them.

unseen on January 19, 2012 at 6:33 PM

No, but Obama will articulate their fears of a wealthy monarchist from a white castle firing them from their job better than Romney will be able to articulate the reality that Obama is a socialist that has wrecked the economy.

William Eaton on January 19, 2012 at 6:30 PM

If that were true then ObaMao’s approval rating would be through the roof. Class warfare is a winning strategy? Is that how Clinton got re-elected in ’96? Hardly. He went the other direction. Ranting about the evils of capitalism will not only NOT be convincing but it will turn off Independents and moderates, who understand that in a free society not everybody gets a trophy. Unlike the Left, they understand that it’s not a perfect world and never will be. They understand the attacks on Romney are pure distortion and Marxist rhetoric while witnessing on a daily basis the real damage that ObaMao is inflicting on the economy.

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:35 PM

No, but Obama will articulate their fears of a wealthy monarchist from a white castle firing them from their job better than Romney will be able to articulate the reality that Obama is a socialist that has wrecked the economy.

William Eaton on January 19, 2012 at 6:30 PM

The beauty of it is Romney (or whomever) doesn’t need to articulate the reality that Obama wrecked the economy. I see it every time I look at what’s left of my IRA.

alchemist19 on January 19, 2012 at 6:35 PM

unseen, do you think there’s chance Palin might get in late? Now that conservative field is whittled down and Mittens isn’t so inevitable? After all what’s to lose if it’s a contest between her and Newt?

promachus on January 19, 2012 at 6:32 PM

not sure if there is time left to secure Ballot access in enough states to be able to win the nomination. But I think Palin has made her decision if she was going to run I think Oct was the window. But who knows she goes to the beat of her own drummer.

unseen on January 19, 2012 at 6:35 PM

unseen, new Sarah Palin thread, on the right.

Schadenfreude on January 19, 2012 at 6:36 PM

If Mitt is the nominee he will spend half if not more of the time trying to shore up his right base. And the independents will not be enough to carry him to the win when half the converative base sits home or votes third party. Ask Bush the first, McCain, Dole how those independents helped them when their conservative base left them.

unseen on January 19, 2012 at 6:33 PM

So what you’re saying is if Mitt’s the nominee then we should rally around him quickly so he doesn’t need to spend valuable resources courting the base? I’ll agree with that.

alchemist19 on January 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Obama will avoid debating anyone.

Gunlock Bill on January 19, 2012 at 5:40 PM
That would make him look weak. there will be 2 or 3 debates.

alwaysfiredup on January 19, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Of course Obama will show up for the debates- FOX will only have their hand in what, maybe one? This is why I think the debate arguement has no legs. We’ve seen how ABC, NBC, CNN, et al, conduct their debates.

BettyRuth on January 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

So our candidate likes open marriages, cheating, getting paid to say anything, changes positions radically, thinks Paul Ryan is a right wing social engineer, hates capitalism, shares a seat with Pelosi.

Yes, this is the republican conservative values choice. Ron Paul third party please…

rubberneck on January 19, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Your right, Paul Ryan is not a Right Wing Social Engineer, he is actually left of center social engineer that came up with a plan that changes the entire priority of the national government. Before Ryan we were talking about bringing spending back to pre 2008 levels maybe even pre 2007 levels and balancing our budget. After Ryan we are going, no way, balance our budget? Pay our bills? Who the hell do you think we are, responsible consequence understanding conservatives that love our country, LOL, jokes on you rubes, deficits for as far as the baby born today can see!
Hates capitalism? No friend, that is you turning to, or continuing your progressive style propaganda argument. It is better known as the Shut the F^ck Up argument that the progressives are so accustomed to having work on conservatives. You know, it is also formed with Racist!, Anti-Science!, (Holocaust implied) Dinier!, Bible Thumping Neanderthal! Burn The Witches!

I know why you have to resort to these attacks, because the rest of your attacks are ineffectual and thus the only way you win is if the other side simply gives up the field to allow you to have the only argument. Are you really in that bad of a situation that you cannot just argue the facts with merit?

astonerii on January 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Spoken like a true MSNBC pundit. Resist we much?

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:30 PM

I see reality is not your strong suit. No wonder you like mitt. You live in a fantasy. See how much Bush the second is out campaigning for Mitt during the election compared to how much clinton is out there for Obama.

unseen on January 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

You’re welcome! Prescient thinking on your part. Honestly the possibility had never occurred to me.

Buy Danish on January 19, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Don’t worry, it didn’t occur to anybody. It only occurred to me because I agreed with the commenters and pundits who were saying that the infidelity stuff was old news, priced into the Gingrich brand. So what’s Marianne up to? I could tell that she was talking to him. What was she signalling; what did she have? I went back to the Esquire article looking for subtext. The manic-depressive thing was there, but that had been discussed in detail a long time ago in a Vanity Fair article that has been making the rounds. Then the nugget about Clinton “started talking to me”, as they say at the asylum.

This is some serious Republican dirty laundry being aired. I’m sure the Party is thrilled, but better now than later. Better not at all, but Newt didn’t want to take the hint in 2010. That’s our boy; he’s gonna go down, and he just might take the rest of the Republicans down with him.

Mr. Arkadin on January 19, 2012 at 6:38 PM

If Mitt is the nominee he will spend half if not more of the time trying to shore up his right base.

You put your finger on the real problem. If Romney is the nominee he shouldn’t have to shore up the base. If “the base” can’t recognize the crucial importance of defeating Obama then THAT’S the problem.

And the independents will not be enough to carry him to the win when half the converative base sits home or votes third party. Ask Bush the first, McCain, Dole how those independents helped them when their conservative base left them.

unseen on January 19, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Again, if the base stays at home then they will shoulder the blame for the loss. Thanks for admitting that a loss in November will be the result of back-stabbing within our own party.

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:39 PM

truecon on January 19, 2012 at 4:42 PM

What’s that brown stuff on your nose?

RedLizard64 on January 19, 2012 at 6:41 PM

So what you’re saying is if Mitt’s the nominee then we should rally around him quickly so he doesn’t need to spend valuable resources courting the base? I’ll agree with that.

alchemist19 on January 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

I see your kind of clueless. Mitt will never get the conservative base to rally around him. Mitt will have the wall streeters on his side and those that think ” this is the most important election since ever or (the last one)” the rest of us not so much.

unseen on January 19, 2012 at 6:41 PM

sobincorporated on January 19, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Despite my preference for NEWT…your comment remains funny!

RedLizard64 on January 19, 2012 at 6:42 PM

I see reality is not your strong suit. No wonder you like mitt. You live in a fantasy. See how much Bush the second is out campaigning for Mitt during the election compared to how much clinton is out there for Obama.

unseen on January 19, 2012 at 6:37 PM

Your projection skills are also MSNBC-worthy. I’m trying to bring you back to reality. There’s not much to work with, I’m afraid. But I’m happy to keep trying…

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Again, if the base stays at home then they will shoulder the blame for the loss. Thanks for admitting that a loss in November will be the result of back-stabbing within our own party.

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:39 PM

So says a guy who supports a candidate who has spent nearly $15 million in carpet bombing attacks, so far, against every other candidate who has shown momentum. That’s a dynamite trick, there. Crap all over the other bases and then blame them for not showing up with great enthusiasm to support their abuser.

Way to go!

MTLassen on January 19, 2012 at 6:45 PM

Buy Danish on January 19, 2012 at 6:25 PM

And you are to be commended for finding this story and posting a link. You’d think the people who do this for a living would be on top of it.

Mr. Arkadin on January 19, 2012 at 6:47 PM

echosyst on January 19, 2012 at 5:05 PM

As far as historical Amrica is concerned the values of fiscal discipline and economic propserity long foreshadowed anything in the moral (family values) realm.

RedLizard64 on January 19, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I am? Well you said

If Mitt is the nominee he will spend half if not more of the time trying to shore up his right base.

I responded to that by saying the base should rally around Romney so he can not waste valuable resources having to court them. I did not that they will, merely that they should. I’ll wait while you scroll up and check the post of mine you quoted.
.
.
.
.
See? I think you’re still projecting about what the base will and won’t do based off what the Romney Derangement Syndrome crowd here says but we’ll find out when and if Mitt wins the nomination.

And don’t try to hold me accountable for the words you put in my mouth. I won’t let you get away with it very often.

alchemist19 on January 19, 2012 at 6:50 PM

After the way Harry Reid snookered Rush into railing against Mike Castle and thus getting Chris Coons a seat in the Senate I wouldn’t be surprised if that was their game.

alchemist19 on January 19, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I think it’s safe to say that Levin was a far bigger booster of Christine O’Donnell than Rush ever was.

Myron Falwell on January 19, 2012 at 6:50 PM

So says a guy who supports a candidate who has spent nearly $15 million in carpet bombing attacks, so far, against every other candidate who has shown momentum. That’s a dynamite trick, there. Crap all over the other bases and then blame them for not showing up with great enthusiasm to support their abuser.

Way to go!

MTLassen on January 19, 2012 at 6:45 PM

A paltry $15 million in attacks did that to Newt? Imagine what Obama’s billion bucks is going to do to him if Newt wins the nomination.

alchemist19 on January 19, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Come next week, your choice will be between him, Captain Flipflop, and Ron Paul. Worst field ever. Ever

Blame your beloved Captain Flipflop, Allah.

If he had stayed out of the race to begin with, a number of better candidates would have run. But Romney’s money and establishment support made that impossible.

Now the inevitable truth comes out: Romney is an incredibly weak candidate and literally hated by a huge number of conservatives who will back anyone but Romney. He was never a viable candidate to begin with.

Norwegian on January 19, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Palin, Perry, Rush Limbaugh!? All not real conservatives now because they’re not kissing Romney’s butt? Never mind!

mike_NC9 on January 19, 2012 at 6:53 PM

So says a guy who supports a candidate who has spent nearly $15 million in carpet bombing attacks, so far, against every other candidate who has shown momentum. That’s a dynamite trick, there. Crap all over the other bases and then blame them for not showing up with great enthusiasm to support their abuser.

Way to go!

MTLassen on January 19, 2012 at 6:45 PM

I don’t have time to explain to you the basics of a primary. The Newtist colony has no argument here. The Michael Moore-approved propaganda film speaks volumes.

I was referring to the general election. Sorry, but “we’re mad because Mitt was mean to us” argument will not be a valid excuse for facilitating an Obama re-election by staying home in November. Especially since there’s a Senate to be captured and a House to be retained.

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Ahem. You will recall, Allahpundit, that about 2 weeks ago I said Newt was gaining, and you smacked me down.

Ahem.

fossten on January 19, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Now the inevitable truth comes out: Romney is an incredibly weak candidate and literally hated by a huge number of conservatives who will back anyone but Romney. He was never a viable candidate to begin with.

Norwegian on January 19, 2012 at 6:52 PM

“Anyone” apparently includes Obama. Romney’s not a “viable” candidate? Seriously?

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Oh my:
Gingrich overtakes Romney in two more South Carolina polls

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/polls/205175-gingrich-overtakes-romney-in-two-more-south-carolina-polls

Czar of Defenestration on January 19, 2012 at 7:03 PM

“Anyone” apparently includes Obama. Romney’s not a “viable” candidate? Seriously?

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 7:02 PM

It does with me. Paul also fits the bill of Obama over him. Newt and Santorum are the only two left I will vote for. The other two I vote against. Perry used to be my middle guy where I just simply abstained.

I kinda am happy he is out and I am kind of sad. Happy as it gives Newt or even Santorum a better shot at taking out the Romney. Sad because I really hoped he would have come to a come to conservatism moment on the two issues I had with him. The heat of a campaign might not be the right place to have one of those, but if sincere, would have been a boon for him. Happy hunting Rick Perry. Look to see you in 2016 or 2020.

astonerii on January 19, 2012 at 7:16 PM

SC has their collective heads up their a$$…Nominating a fat, old, lecherous bastard is a loser’s choice…Well, we happen to know that SC has a history, around 1865, of making $hitty choices…

Nozzle on January 19, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Enough of this pious baloney from Gingrich supporters….

The reason he got whacked in Iowa is that he made a huge gaffe in calling Ryan a right wing social engineer and didn’t have money to cover himself when he unexpectedly zoomed to the top of the polls…not because of the supposed “inaccurate” ads(which he never mentions except for one lame china part in an ad by a superpac).

and he seems fail all the “tests” of even qualifying as a conservative this campaign.

First he whines endlessly showing he’s got both a bad temper and an extremely thin skin…not good qualities in a president. Next he doesn’t care about attacking the nature of capitalism itself to score some points on other candidates. The Bain attacks and the language behind them are going to be a black eye on the fabric of the party for some time. I was glad to see Huntsman and Perry crash and burn on the coals of that disgusting attack but Newt should have gone away too. He’s left of the entire field on economics right now….so is he the big social conservative he claims to be?

Divorced twice and tried to talk his last wife into accepting an “open” marriage so he wouldnt have to get divorced again and could fool around as much as he wants….

Yea, real family values guy there….

What the heck does Gingrich bring to the table except he has some good soundbites in a few debates? Character matters and from what I have seen, he is worst of the bunch in this regard.

All hail the “conservative” candidate Newt Gingrich….a man who will soon be as hated in his own party as Romney is but for legitimate reasons.

Zybalto on January 19, 2012 at 7:18 PM

It does with me. Paul also fits the bill of Obama over him. Newt and Santorum are the only two left I will vote for. The other two I vote against. Perry used to be my middle guy where I just simply abstained.

I kinda am happy he is out and I am kind of sad. Happy as it gives Newt or even Santorum a better shot at taking out the Romney. Sad because I really hoped he would have come to a come to conservatism moment on the two issues I had with him. The heat of a campaign might not be the right place to have one of those, but if sincere, would have been a boon for him. Happy hunting Rick Perry. Look to see you in 2016 or 2020.

astonerii on January 19, 2012 at 7:16 PM

The next president has the potential to pick the replacements for Scalia, Kennedy and Ginsberg. I don’t know for sure the sort of judges Mitt Romney will pick but I do know the kind Obama would. I hope your holier-than-thou temper tantrum is worth it.

alchemist19 on January 19, 2012 at 7:26 PM

If Newt is such a tough fighter and good debater why did Romney kick his ass in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Millions of $$$ in attack ads!!!

And if New Hampshire is Romney’s backyard, South Carolina is Newt’s.

But Newt is such a crappy candidate he cant even pull away from a Massachusetts Mormon and a Pennsylvania Catholic and Libertarian Loon is South Carolina.

swamp_yankee on January 19, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Two states whose population do not equal SC’s is no place to stop the fought. If some of Mohammed Ali’s fights had been stopped in the 2nd round short of a complete knockout history would be the harsher judge!

RedLizard64 on January 19, 2012 at 7:28 PM

You put your finger on the real problem. If Romney is the nominee he shouldn’t have to shore up the base. If “the base” can’t recognize the crucial importance of defeating Obama then THAT’S the problem.

And the independents will not be enough to carry him to the win when half the converative base sits home or votes third party. Ask Bush the first, McCain, Dole how those independents helped them when their conservative base left them.

unseen on January 19, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Again, if the base stays at home then they will shoulder the blame for the loss. Thanks for admitting that a loss in November will be the result of back-stabbing within our own party.

cicerone on January 19, 2012 at 6:39 PM

This seems to be a repeated theme among the Mittluded: if he doesn’t win, it will be the fault of the base, who should have voted for the Chosen Candidate, the *&%&^$%$ nitwits.

Somehow, it never occurs to them that the fault could lie with nominating someone that no one really wants….

tom on January 19, 2012 at 8:07 PM

I was with Newt for a while, but he betrayed my trust. He wanted an “open relationship”, whereby he could repeat DNC talking-points for his own self-aggrandizement and still tell me he’s a loyal conservative. He did this after several warnings, not the least of which include cheating on me with my best friend, Paul Ryan. He and I are officially through.

The Count on January 19, 2012 at 8:18 PM

If Newt becomes the Anti-Romney, could we be looking at a brokered convention. That seems to be goal of the Not Milt forces here. Or am I looking too far ahead. Just asking.

flackcatcher on January 19, 2012 at 8:23 PM

HEY ALLAH CAN YOU PLEASE FIX YOUR MISLEADING BLOG POST.

IT’S MITT WHO HAS A 42.5% CHANCE OF WINNING…NOT NEWT. YOU GOT IT BACKWARDS.

tkyang99 on January 19, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Hope Newt wins. Then maybe Paul in Nevada. Rick got Iowa.

Then we might get one funky convention, baby!

AshleyTKing on January 19, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Also: Newt as a loose canon. Hey, it all depends what you are crashing into.

AshleyTKing on January 19, 2012 at 10:51 PM

After the anti-Romney ad, the next ad on YouTube is one of Newt’s two daughters (who give their maiden names) telling voters what a great Dad he is.

Although it sounds a little staged, this is great response to the recent interviews of Newt’s second wife–apparently Newt’s extra-marital activities didn’t hurt his daughters.

Steve Z on January 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Newt knocked it out of the park last night. He should win SC.

Reggie1971 on January 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

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