Looking to make it three states out of three, mild-mannered Mitt Romney is currently in a comfortable position in the polls for the upcoming South Carolina Primary.
With an overall lead of eleven percentage points to his nearest rival, Newt Gingrich, the former Massachusetts state governor is looking good. He already won in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and has now received a thumbs up from those polled in a Monmouth University study, with 33 percent of the vote.
Although coming in second with 22 percent, the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich received a boost late on Tuesday after a promising performance in a debate between the candidates. He received a standing ovation, which is something unheard of in debates of this kind.
“If Romney is at 25 or 30 percent, we’re still in a serious race,” Gingrich told CBS. “If he gets up to 40 or 45, you have to be realistic.
Ron Paul, in the same debate, did not fare so well – indeed it was his gaffe that inspired Newt Gingrich to rebut and earn the cheering and ovation.
Paul, a long-time critic of current US foreign policy, described the U.S. military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan as “warmongering.”
“Don’t do to other nations, what we don’t want to have them do to us.” He remarked, only to be met with a cascade of boos and jeers.
This was simply not what a Republican audience is used to hearing and goes some way to explain his current fourth place in the polls.
After Jon Huntsman pulled out of the race on Monday, that leaves the two Rick’s – Santorum and Perry who are trailing with 14 and six percent respectively. Perry is not expected to stay in the race that much longer.
After Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney may pull off a convincing win in South Carolina, and that would not nail the Republican nomination, but it would continue to foster the aura of inevitability around him. He may be boring to many Republicans, or too moderate for many conservatives, but Romney could soon be emerging as the man to challenge President Obama.