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Posted by on Jan 14, 2012 in Politics | 6 comments

Poll: Romney Now Soaring with 21 Point Lead in South Carolina (Gingrich Backlash?)

Manny Francisco, Manila, The Phillippines

This new poll out of South Carolina could be subtitled in two ways:

#1 Romney Soars in South Carolina
#2 Gingrich Self-Destructs in South Carolina

The bottom line is that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had been doing well in South Carolina, and then seemed according to one poll within a few points of the presumptive front-runner, former Massachusetts Mitt Romney. But then the controversy over Gingrich’s use of the Bain Capital issue against Romney broke and — this is not unimportant — talk show host Rush Limbaugh and other members of the GOP media and political establishments jumped on Gingrich and defended Romney’s work at Bain:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has opened a wide lead over his rivals in the South Carolina primary election race, trouncing Newt Gingrich and gaining momentum in his march toward the party’s nomination, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, could all but quash his rivals’ presidential aspirations with a victory in South Carolina on January 21 after winning the first state-by-state nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Voters in South Carolina – who have favored Republicans in nine of the last 10 presidential elections – appear to have shrugged off attacks on Romney by rivals who accuse him of killing jobs as a private equity executive for Bain Capital in the 1990s.

The poll showed 37 percent of South Carolina Republican voters back Romney. Congressman Ron Paul and former Senator Rick Santorum tied for second place with 16 percent support.

Gingrich, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, has fallen far back after holding a strong lead in South Carolina in December. He was in fourth place at 12 percent in the Reuters/Ipsos poll.

AND:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has opened a wide lead over his rivals in the South Carolina primary election race, trouncing Newt Gingrich and gaining momentum in his march toward the party’s nomination, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, could all but quash his rivals’ presidential aspirations with a victory in South Carolina on January 21 after winning the first state-by-state nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Voters in South Carolina – who have favored Republicans in nine of the last 10 presidential elections – appear to have shrugged off attacks on Romney by rivals who accuse him of killing jobs as a private equity executive for Bain Capital in the 1990s.

The poll showed 37 percent of South Carolina Republican voters back Romney. Congressman Ron Paul and former Senator Rick Santorum tied for second place with 16 percent support.

Gingrich, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, has fallen far back after holding a strong lead in South Carolina in December. He was in fourth place at 12 percent in the Reuters/Ipsos poll.

I knew Gingrich was through as soon as I heard Limbaugh was denouncing him.

When this campaign story is over, it’ll be about Romney struggling to rebrand himself and getting through to win the nomination.

And it’ll be about Gingrich, who seemed to rebrand himself during the debates as a “new” Gingrich, but then reverted to the erratic bomb thrower — only this time his bombs were aimed at someone who top GOPers felt would likely get the nomination.

So they piled on Gingrich and — as usual — the cues Republican voters got from talk show hosts and other members of the establishment led to the unraveling of Gingrich.

Yes, there are second acts in careers on politics.

But Gingrich had his second act when former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain sunk and he started to rise due to thegood impression he made with Republican voters in the debates.

It’s unlikely he will ever have a third act.