What does Newt Gingrich's 12% win over Mitt Romney in South Carolina mean? Even if Gingrich doesn't have Romney's war chest and organization for Florida's primary on the 31st, his momentum is snowballing in the state's print media, and this morning Romney admitted he made a mistake in declining to release his tax returns, and said he will make them available on Tuesday. “We made a mistake in holding off as long as we did,” the candidate told FOX News, noting that he pays a "substantial" amount of taxes. Still Gingrich can point out that in terms of percentage, he pays double what a member of the 0.01% does.
Since 1980, every Republican candidate who has captured the state has won the nomination, but this year the first three contests have seen three different winners. Is this a challenge to the rule? The Crystal Ball has Gingrich's dream scenario:
Gingrich’s win brings to a halt any prospect Romney had for ending this contest with a win in Florida on Jan. 31. What Gingrich now needs is for Rick Santorum to drop out of the race so the conservative vote can consolidate. The writing is in capital letters on the wall for the ex-Pennsylvania senator, who has lost out to Gingrich as the leading “anti-Romney” candidate. Santorum may stay in the race until Florida, but he has no path left to the nomination.
Unfortunately for Newt, Santorum, who finished a distant third, has vowed to hang on. He attacked the former Speaker this morning on ABC, calling him an "erratic conservative, someone who on a lot of the issues has been just wrong.” Maybe a nice tennis bracelet can change his mind?
In addition to being Find Out How Much Money Mitt Romney Keeps In Offshore Accounts Day, Tuesday will also feature President Obama's State of the Union address, which will focus heavily on the economy (duh). Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has already called the President's address, which hasn't even happened yet, "pathetic." Also, the Commander-in-Chief has yet to offer an explanation for the mysterious gunfire heard emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue last night.