On a tumultuous day in Republican politics, Newt Gingrich surged ahead in our latest South Carolina tracking poll. Whether it holds or not is anyone’s guess as upheaval prevails in the Palmetto State.
In an explosive day in GOP presidential politics, one candidate — Rick Perry — exited from the race while throwing his support to Gingrich. Meanwhile, one of Gingrich’s ex-wives told ABC News (among other accusations) that Newt had asked for an “open marriage” to sanctify his cheating. If that weren’t enough, it was revealed that Iowa’s slapdash caucus nose count missed a few nostrils, and Rick Santorum–not Mitt Romney–was the actual winner. Whew.
Frankly, all of this turmoil makes for a lousy polling environment, so we want to you to be fully aware of the snapshot the following topline results produced. These numbers could settle down tomorrow…or not. Here are tonight’s numbers with the previous two poll results:Type: Automated - Date: 1/19/2012 - Participants: 988 Likely voters - Margin of Error: ± 3.12%
Is this latest set of results a flick-of-the-polling-needle, or has Gingrich found the keys to stopping the Romney Express? It’s difficult to believe that the behavior that his ex-wife is reporting won’t have a negative impact on the former Speaker. But for now, there seems to be a damn-the-media knee jerk support for Gingrich–not dissimilar to the circle-the-wagon glow Herman Cain received when women from his past first cropped up.
This type of havoc-induced poll data may make for unpredictable outcomes, but it’s great political theater. Grab some popcorn and enjoy yourself this Saturday.