Game on in South Carolina
An Insider Advantage poll taken Wednesday in South Carolina shows support for Mitt Romney dropping and New Gingrich gaining slightly.
The result - a two point difference with Romney ahead of Gingrich 23-21.
InsiderAdvantage has a mixed track record and rates fairly poorly in the FiveThrityEight pollster ratings, which is one reason to interpret these numbers with some care. In addition, Matt Towery, the head of InsiderAdvantage, formerly served as the head of Mr. Gingrich's political organization from 1992 until Mr. Gingrich left Congress.
However, another polling firm that rates more highly, Public Policy Polling, said in a series of Twitter messages that it has also detected a tight race between Mr. Romney and Mr. Gingrich in South Carolina, with little evidence of favorable momentum for Mr. Romney following his New Hampshire victory. Public Policy Polling will release its results on Friday.
Confusing matters further is that a poll of Florida, from Rasmussen Reports, did show some gains for Mr. Romney. The poll, conducted on Wednesday, showed Mr. Romney with 41 percent of the vote there, better than he has done in any prior survey of the state. The poll also showed Mr. Gingrich's numbers on the decline.
The Gallup national tracking poll also had good results for Mr. Romney, with his moving up to 34 percent of the vote, his highest-ever standing in that survey. Only a small portion of Gallup's interviews were conducted after the New Hampshire results became known, so he could realize some further gains in coming days.
The good news for Romney in Florida and nationally has to be tempered by the polls in South Carolina. A bad showing there will no doubt adversely affect those other numbers. Also remember that Rick Santorum has just started his huge ad buy in SC and his position in third place with 13% will probably improve.
Gingrich is apparently pretty well organized in South Carolina. But he doesn't have near the amount of cash that Romney can throw into the race so we'll just have to see how things shake out.