Your Carolina jolt: Mitt Romney pulling away in IA poll

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Less than a week after releasing a poll showing Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in a statistical deadheat in South Carolina, a survey released by Atlanta-based InsiderAdvantage has Romney pulling away. From NewsMax.com:

In the poll of 720 likely registered voters in South Carolina GOP primary, Romney was leading with 32 percent of the vote. Gingrich was second with 21 percent, followed by Ron Paul with 14 percent.

Romney showed the most movement in the poll, while Gingrich remained static. The rest: Ron Paul, 14 percent; Rick Santorum, 13 percent; Jon Huntsman, who will withdraw from the race today, 6 percent; and Rick Perry, 5 percent.

***
GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney has let it be known that he won’t be on hand for Jon Huntsman’s withdrawal here in Myrtle Beach. Newt Gingrich insists Huntsman withdrawal will help him. “With Governor Huntsman dropping out, we are one step closer to a bold Reagan conservative winning the GOP nomination,” a Gingrich spokesman declared this morning.

Rick Santorum insisted Huntsman was – and is – irrelevant. “Moderates are endorsing moderates,” he said in Columbia, S.C., today.

Late last night, after news broke of Jon Huntsman’s withdrawal and endorsement of Mitt Romney, a lot of house-cleaning was in order. From the New York Times:

Mr. Huntsman’s campaign, which struggled to raise money for expensive television ads, put many of his harshest attacks against Mr. Romney into clever and biting online videos that he posted to his campaign’s Web site and a corresponding YouTube channel.

Those videos (and a few television commercials) are now mostly gone, quickly yanked from public view as Mr. Huntsman prepares for an 11 a.m. endorsement of Mr. Romney.

***
There are varying reports that he is listing toward Mitt Romney, but U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint – South Carolina’s tea party champion – sent out an e-mail last night declaring he won’t endorse before Saturday’s presidential primary vote. DeMint gave the opening remarks at a tea party convention in Myrtle Beach. From the local newspaper:

He urged conservatives to unite as a party, and not to “nip at the heels of someone who’s voting record isn’t perfect.”

***
Also in the Myrtle Beach Sun News:

At the Cathedral of Praise in North Charleston, Gingrich spoke to a congregation of about 1,000 about his three marriages, a record that many voters cite as a reason they won’t vote for the former House speaker.

“I don’t come here today as a perfect person,” he said. “I don’t come here today without, I guess the advertisement is, baggage.”

He won admiring words – though not an endorsement – from church pastor Michael Lewis.
“Whoever you vote for I think you would have to attest that there’s a man who loves his country and who knows his country, and regardless who you vote for, he’s one of us,” Lewis said in his closing remarks.

***
While we’re on the topic of religion, the Associated Press has a piece today on whether a continuing debate over Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith will have an impact in the South Carolina primary. A few paragraphs:

In the upstate city of Easley, the Rev. Brad Atkins, president of the South Carolina General Baptist Convention, has posted an email exchange on his church website with a local reporter on his objections to the LDS church.

“Romney’s Mormonism will be more a cause of concern than Gingrich’s infidelity,” Atkins wrote. Christians can forgive sin, the pastor said, “but will struggle to understand how anyone could be a Mormon and call themselves a Christian.”

Then there was this:

Bob Jones III, chancellor of the fundamentalist Christian school Bob Jones University in Greenville, stunned many when he endorsed Romney in the 2008 primary.
Fundamentalists generally steer clear of anyone with even the most minor difference over Scripture. But Jones said the country elects a president not a preacher. This past week, Jones said through a spokeswoman that he hasn’t endorsed anyone so far in the 2012 primary.

***
The New York Times has a look today at Rick Santorum’s U.S. Senate record:

[A]n examination of Mr. Santorum’s earmark record sheds light on another aspect of his political personality, one that is at odds with the reformer image he has tried to convey on the trail: his prowess as a Washington insider.

A review of some of his earmarks, viewed alongside his political donations, suggests that the river of federal money Mr. Santorum helped direct to Pennsylvania paid off handsomely in the form of campaign cash.

***
This morning, Rick Santorum is pushing back against a TV attack ad being broadcast by a Super PAC allied with Mitt Romney. From MSNBC:

The presidential hopeful said today that the Restore Our Future ad — which claims Santorum voted to allow convicted felons vote — is dishonest. “Now Gov. Romney has taken that and said Rick Santorum is for felons voting, and that is a lie,” he told a crowd of nearly 150 people packed into Percy & Willie’s restaurant. “And by the way, I think there is only two states that don’t allow that. And so to go out and mislead the people of South Carolina as to what our record is on this, is just yuck.”

Instead, Santorum said he supported a measure that would allow felons who have successfully completed parole to apply to have their voting rights restored.

South Carolina has a nearly identical law, Santorum noted.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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30 comments Add your comment

Ga Values...Ron Paul for Peace & Prosperity

January 16th, 2012
10:09 am

The name says it all

double

January 16th, 2012
10:20 am

It’s all over but the crying.Mitmormex pulling away.

Centrist

January 16th, 2012
10:25 am

South Carolina’s evangelists were never going to determine the outcome of this nomination process. The media wants a fight and stoked some fires – but this nomination race has been over for a long time.

Gingrich’s scorched earth policy backfired, and he is now a pariah inside the GOP. Santorum was almost a flash in the pan with evangelists in Iowa, but neither he nor Gingrich have the organization, funds, endorsements, or polling to remain viable candidates. They get a lot of free media, but it is not nearly enough to make up the huge differences in required levels of support.

Ben Holt

January 16th, 2012
10:45 am

Romney is the selection to beat Obama because he can get more independent votes. This, however, rules out Newt who would probably make the best President based on his past history of accomplishments. A totally objective and informed electorate would be nice but we don’t have that.
Let’s give Romney the support.

Going Right

January 16th, 2012
10:56 am

Uh, numbnuts…”IA” is the state designation for IOWA is it not? Wake up. they are in South Carolina now.

Georgia , The "New Mississippi"

January 16th, 2012
11:01 am

Slick Mitt is in good shape. . He knows the Wal-mart republiCons will vote for him because he is the white guy. They will not vote for the (Obama) the half-white guy they consider to be black. The Wall Street republiCons will seal the nomination with Slick Mitt.

Tom

January 16th, 2012
11:01 am

“IA” in this case is “InsiderAdvantage”.

R.I.F.

findog

January 16th, 2012
11:18 am

as long as those fellons don’t vote democrat I’m cool with that

findog

January 16th, 2012
11:22 am

Mitt will be the first modern era major party candidate to not release at least part of his income tax records. As reform of taxes is a major plank within the GOP’s convention how do they expect Joe six pack to believe he can be trusted to look out for the middle class?

Centrist

January 16th, 2012
11:39 am

Typical straw dog ploy -

From USA Today: President Obama’s campaign and his Democratic allies have tried in vain to get Romney, a multimillionaire, to release his tax returns.

From CNN: Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, has said he so far has complied with legal disclosure obligations, but added he might release his tax returns or further information in the future.

Both Obama and Romney will be shown to be well inside that top 1% of income earners. Trying to make this a wedge issue because Romney is the wealthier of the two is what the Democrats and media will try to do – probably with little success. Gingrich is in his last desperate throes in making the same demand.

[...] Latest polling shows a Romney romp.  How negative will folks go now?  As long as they leave capitalism alone, I’m okay with the brawl. Tweet [...]

Ol' Timer

January 16th, 2012
11:47 am

Enter your comments here

Ol' Timer

January 16th, 2012
11:51 am

Rev. Adkin’s logic regarding accepting serial adultery and rejecting moral Mormonism makes my head swirl and reminds me of why those critical thinking courses precludes an understanding of most religious folk. A myth is a myth and to argue about which myth is superior makes me laugh.

Progressive Humanist

January 16th, 2012
11:55 am

You gotta love that the Repubs are about to nominate a candidate who is more liberal than Obama. And how they’re twisting themselves into knots to rationalize why they will nominate a left of center candidate.

John Doe

January 16th, 2012
12:00 pm

Mitt Romney abuses dogs

Ted

January 16th, 2012
12:03 pm

Agree with Ben Holt

Centrist

January 16th, 2012
12:06 pm

@ Progressive Humanist – Nobody really believes that Romney is anywhere nearly as liberal as Obama or that he is left of center. He might approach the center more than the other GOP nominee hopefuls, but still to the right.

findog

January 16th, 2012
12:12 pm

I’m sorry Centrist
Was there something inaccurate in what I said about tax returns?

Steve

January 16th, 2012
12:48 pm

Let me get this straight! It is OK to cheat on two different wives (who knows about the third), but not OK to have a different religious viewpoint than Adkin’s? That goes a long way in support of fiedelity in marrage. I can’t seem to find that in any of the teachings of Jesus. Help me here.

hmm

January 16th, 2012
12:50 pm

49er Nation

January 16th, 2012
12:53 pm

Gingrich is the sorest loser of all time…….Romney at Bain Capital did a lot more to help the economy than hurt it. Companies that failed, laid off workers under Bain’s supervision would’ve failed regrdless. Bain helped many failing companies succeed and grow, I work for one and HAVE A JOB B/C of Mitt Romney! Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, are all taking democratic, stances when they attack Bain and are giving Obama ammo for his re-election. Are they really Patriots who want what’s best for the country or do they just want to get themselves elected?

49er Nation

January 16th, 2012
1:01 pm

@ Steve, any preacher who says “we can forgive a sinner, but cant understand why anyone would be mormon” is NOT a man of God. I don’t have a degree in Theology but I can read the New Testament, that comment does not have the same tone as which Jesus taught with. Mormons absolutely embrace the Bible, 100%, How does anyone have the right that their interpretation of the bible is wrong while they are right? I wouldn’t attend any church that claimed to be Of God, then riduculed other people, relegions, groups, etc. to me that is te complete opposite of what is taught by Christ in th Gospels.

Phil

January 16th, 2012
1:37 pm

It is funny how no one is even paying attention to Ron Paul. Ron Paul just got Tom Davis to support him. LOL! That has got to hurt the Big Goverment Romney and Newt!!

Phil

January 16th, 2012
1:39 pm

The Only Tea Party Candidate

My fellow South Carolinians rightly recognize state Sen. Tom Davis as a true conservative and Tea Party champion. When it comes to the Tea Party’s primary mission–reducing out monstrous debt–there is really only one choice in this election. Only Ron Paul has offered spending cuts in-line with what the Tea Party desires–$1 trillion in his first year as president. The other candidates have offered nothing even remotely close and criticize Paul for being too “extreme.” Or as Davis explained in this report from CNN:

“One of the nice things about being in South Carolina every four years is you get to meet candidates first hand. And I’ve had that chance,” Davis said.

The state senator called former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman “a fine man” and was equally kind to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“At the end of the day, when I sat down, I realized there were a lot of good people running for this race,” Davis said. “But there’s only one person, there’s only one person speaking to what I believe is the core problem of our country today. The biggest threat to our liberty comes from debt.”

“There is only one candidate that is talking about this problem to the degree, at the scale and with the scope that it needs to be talked about. You can’t nibble around the edges anymore…”

After speaking at the event himself, CNN asked Paul why the Davis endorsement mattered.

“Well because he’s very popular. And he’s going to get a lot of support and he’s going to get a lot of attention for me,”

John

January 16th, 2012
1:44 pm

They are voting for the phonys and crooks, politics as usual.
Ron Paul should be number one without a doubt.
Ron Paul 2012!

Son of Herman Cain

January 16th, 2012
1:52 pm

Huntsman did not want to soil himself with the likes of Newt, Santorum, and Perry!!!

Romney and Paul are toast!

Huntsman hopes that a loosing Romney-Bachman ticket will allow for a Huntsman resurrection in 2016!

Bill Bellamy

January 16th, 2012
3:21 pm

I call bollocks. Romney isn’t going anywhere but down except in doctored polls.

Metro Mensa Man

January 16th, 2012
3:34 pm

Progressive Humanist @11.55a
I was going to ask what a PH was but then I remembered their webpage: “Join in our fight to maintain the military’s right to engage in bestiality!”
Does that about set the record?

Going Right

January 16th, 2012
3:43 pm

Bill Bellamy @3.21;Of course, you infer by “…doctored up,” that indicates that he would have to have “dead people” voting for him as they did in NH, or he will lose?

Check this out and then reply.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9-uVhhIlPk0

Oh, and Tom@11.01a; you are correct, sir, but what about the sobriquet I gave Jimmy?
R.I.F., indeed!

BambiB

January 16th, 2012
5:30 pm

Ron Paul is the only Republican who can beat Mitt Romney. In Iowa and New Hampshire, Paul got as many independent votes as all the other candidates combined. So if the Republicans want to win the White House, Ron Paul is the guy who can do it.

And if he’s NOT nominated, I hope he runs third party. (That whooshing sound is the Republican party flushing itself down the electoral crapper with any candidate but Paul.)