Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As political insiders begin to descend on the state of Florida for the January 31 primary; Mitt Romney has gone from presumed-nominee on Monday to possibly losing two states in a week by Saturday night.
His most recent national poll numbers are reflecting a Newt-surge heading into Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
According to a new national Gallup poll, Romney’s lead has gone from 23 points on Sunday to just 10 points the day before South Carolinians vote. Romney polled at 30 percent Friday compared to Gingrich’s 20 percent.
Rick Santorum has seen his support start to wane, coming in tied with retiring Representative Ron Paul at 13 percent across the nation.
Gallup said the poll may only partially show the impact of the strange confluence of events that have shaped the GOP presidential race.
Two candidates dropped out this week; Gingrich’s ex-wife said he wanted an open-marriage; Romney refused to release his tax returns; and Santorum was declared the winner in Iowa.
The latest polls coming out of South Carolina found that Gingrich is likely to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix and win the state.
If he can, then Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum will have all won a state before the Florida primary.
If Santorum finishes poorly in South Carolina, he’s likely to come under pressure from conservative groups to drop out of the race and throw his full support behind Gingrich in a conservative attempt to beat Romney.