A new Insider Advantage poll out of South Carolina, the next stop for the candidates, shows Romney with only a 23%-21% lead over former Speaker Newt Gingrich. The poll also showed significant support among other Non-Romneys, Santorum 14%, Paul 13%, Huntsman 7%, Perry 5%.
Gingrich is also being aided by an independent Super PAC financed by billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Finally Romney is getting some of his own medicine ... an "independent" Super PAC designed solely for the purpose of attacking an opponent, namely him.
Perhaps the defining of Romney has come too late. Perhaps the candidates not named Romney will continue to divide the NonRomney vote. But if Gingrich wins South Carolina and knocks out a couple NonRomneys along the way, Romney's sure nomination might be out of the window. Romney does not matchup well with any GOP candidate in a one-on-one race.
I am greatly troubled by Newt Gingrich's personal and lobbying baggage. Still, if he is the only option to Mitt Romney (and Barack Obama), I will support him. Romney has not a conservative bone in his body and is rightly disliked by virtually every Republican who is not in the presidential game for the sole purpose of personally cashing in if the former Massachusetts Governor wins.
Actually the best scenario would be a brokered GOP convention where the factions in the GOP can nominate a quality Republican nominee. That is a highly unlikely scenario, but it would certainly be best for the party.