Mitt Romney v. Newt Gingrich: Former’s Camp Worried He’ll Lose South Carolina

Right or left, independent or apathetic, one thing is certain: The Republican Presidential field has been an interesting watch over the last year. Though every candidate has had his or her moment in the limelight, the automatic front-runner has universally been considered to be Mitt Romney. However, new Gallup Polls seem to indicate the opposite, and the Romney camp is reportedly bracing for impact.

According to the numbers, Romney is in fact sinking, while rival Newt Gingrich is rising. The national poll has Romney in front 30-20, but that’s down from a 23-point lead at the start of the week. Polls specific to South Carolina are worse, and the Romney-for-Prez team is preparing the spin:

“Do I think we could lose South Carolina?” says strategist Stuart Stevens. “Sure. Of course.” He continues:

“The very idea that we are sitting where we are two days before South Carolina, having won New Hampshire, having done very well in Iowa, and the question is, ‘Could Romney lose South Carolina,’ is such an absurd question,” he says. “The idea should be does he have a chance in South Carolina.”

The results, based on Gallup Daily tracking from Jan. 15th through the 19th, only partially reflect what has been a dynamic field this week. Two candidates have withdrawn (John Huntsman and Rick Perry), Gingrich’s dirty marital laundry is being dragged out again, Romney’s tax returns keep getting the wrong attention, a confusing announcement that Santorum won Iowa rather than a spirited Romney, and the lively South Carolina debate where Gingrich sank his teeth into the news media and the debate moderator have been some of the highlights in the political sphere just this week.

South Carolina polling shows Gingrich as the favorite, which (personal scandals notwithstanding) could tighten the race in favor of the former speaker.

Here’s a nice piece put together by our pals at Newsy:

Make no mistake, dear readers: this year, things get real, and no matter what is happening now, the game is still pretty much anyone’s, even Mitt Romney’s.

Do you think Romney can still win South Carolina and the nomination?