Ahead 40-26 in South Carolina on the last night of polling by Public Policy Polling (www.publicpolicypolling.com), Speaker Gingrich is on the verge of a genuinely stunning second comeback from the political death bed in which he has spent much of the last 7 months.
PPP has a tracking poll of South Carolina that consists of a rolling three day poll. The January 20 sample has Gingrich leading Romney 40-26, while the full 3-day poll has Gingrich ahead 37-28.
Mitt Romney has gone from leading by 10 to 15 points to losing by 10 or more points in about 10 days. Amazing.
Newt Gingrich's compelling debate performances this week--on monday and thursday-explain mainly his rise. Beyond Newt's gift of gap that Democrats had better not underestimate, sustained political nuclear attacks on Romney are causing a Romney collapse.
Gingrich and his super pac, Paul, Santorum, Perry all have nailed Romney for running to the left of Ted Kennedy, loading companies with debt to leverage large returns for his investors at Bain, having a terrible job creation record as Governor, not releasing his tax returns, having bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, and being an Olympic champion of pandering and flip flopping. Those attacks are working, because they are true.
A big Gingrich win in South Carolina will catapult him to a national polling lead that he will need in Florida and its primary that is 10 days ahead.
Romney has spent more than 3 million dollars advertising in Florida, with no other candidate contesting the airwaves. Romney will flood Florida with even more cash, with the goal of ripping to shreds Gingrich once again and putting him back into his political death bed.
To keep Gingrich there, Romney may also refuse to do any more national debates and yesterday was saying he may back out of a previously scheduled debate on Monday night. Without debates, Gingrich will need a huge money bomb after South Carolina to allow him to compete in Florida.
At this point, remarkably the Republican nomination is not the coronation of Mitt Romney. It is still a contest between Romney and Gingrich that may make Ron Paul a kingmaker.