There’s a real dearth of polling data out of South Carolina at the moment. The last public poll was completed on December 19th, which might as well be a hundred years ago. And remember that in recent years, it’s South Carolina much more than Iowa or New Hampshire where you really need to win to secure the Republican nomination.We know that Public Policy Polling is currently in the field in the state. And they’ve just tweeted a few polling morsels from there first night of polling. And the first night shows Mitt Romney ahead by 10 points in the state, with Gingrich and Santorum battling for second.
It seems very likely that Romney will win convincingly in New Hampshire. If he then goes on to score a clear win in South Carolina, that would likely be pretty much it in terms of a real battle for the nomination.
PPP makes the additional point that in a head to head in South Carolina, Santorum’s in shooting distance. But that would require Gingrich and Perry pulling out. On the other hand, if Mitt’s solid even in a one on one race in the state, that signals that the weakness in the state which many have suspected or hoped for just ain’t there.