Will Romney still be smiling Saturday?
Public Policy Polling now has Newt ahead in South Carolina. It is clear from the numbers that the debate on Monday had a significant effect in lifting Gingrich above Romney. Romney looked inept, particularly in dealing with a question on his tax returns that should have been anticipated and for which he should have been well practiced .
Nate Silvers at the New York Times reviews a number of polls and also comes to the conclusion that Newton Leroy is leading in SC.
The poll numbers came in before Perry dropped out today and tossed his support to Gingrich and before Newt's second wife went on ABC to discuss his request of her to be in an "open marriage." I suppose Newt can try to deflect any new attention on social mores in tonight's debate by promising to "kill" even more of America's enemies. That red meat seems to be popular in South Carolina. At least more popular than the Sermon on the Mount, which got roundly booed in Monday's debate. Kudos to Dr. Paul for standing up to the mob attending the debate. I like the guy more every day.
Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo also reported today that Newt leads the "poll of polls" in South Carolina, noting, tongue in cheek:
In truth, Gingrich’s momentum looks so overwhelming the only thing that could stop him would be a last minute tell-all interview from an ex-wife saying he wanted to have an open marriage.It is an amazing swing in just a few days time. Strap on your seat belts, folks. This primary season is about to get interesting.