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Newt Gingrich is the candidate with momentum today. On the strength of his widely agreed-upon debate win on Tuesday, Gingrich has surpassed Mitt Romney in two of the three polls major over the past two days:

Politico: Romney 37%, Gingrich 30%
Insider Advantage: Gingrich 32%, Romney 29%
Rasmussen: Gingrich 33%, Romney 31%

The only thing keeping Gingrich behind Romney in the South Carolina Composite right now is his average 10 point deficit spread versus the former Governor in the other six polls taken over the previous week.

Another interesting story line that of Rick Santorum. He is now clearly the fourth candidate, behind Ron Paul. A last place finish in South Carolina with the evangelical leaders support would be devastating to his campaign. It would not be unreasonable to suggest Santorum drops out if he finishes in fourth, especially since he cannot financially complete in Florida.

A Gingrich win in combination with Santorum dropping out could lead to a much longer and dirtier primary than the Republican Party is accustomed to. The Democrats should be rejoicing over this potential development.

However, all of this could be moot. With one more debate tonight and the Marianne Gingrich story breaking so close to Saturday’s election, the polls will not reflect the potential impact. This could lead to voting outcomes considerably different from the last polls.

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