The Republican race in South Carolina has begun to tighten, with the continuing assaults of Newt Gingrich beginning to slow the Mitt Romney train. Romney’s campaign has begun to slow themselves as well, with the news cycle being dominated first by the story of Romney’s effective tax rate being 15%, and now by the story that he has millions of dollars parked in investment vehicles in the Cayman Islands. It appears clear that nobody has uncovered anything illegal in the Romney revelations, but they have without question dominated the news cycle and contributed to the mini Gingrich surge. (Good thing I am waiting to make my South Carolina predictions)!
Romney has continued to display a real lack of “common touch” in his handling of this situation, showing a tin political ear whenever he appears to speak off the cuff. His comment that his roughly $350,000 in speaking fees were “not much” certainly held him up to ridicule, and rightfully so. So the Mittster had his worst week of this Presidential season, and is now facing a big debate tonight in South Carolina with Gingrich closing fast. If Newt is as effective tonight as he was in the last debate this race could be very tight.
Politico has a new poll that shows Romney still leading, but Gingrich closing. Romney stands at 37%, Gingrich at 30%, Ron Paul at 11%, Rick Santorum at 10%, and Rick Perry at 4%. Romney is hearing the footsteps. He unleashed two internet ads hitting Gingrich, but has been taking some heavy incoming himself. Should be a real good debate tonight.