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Mitt Romney appears well on his way to winning the nomination as the latest poll shows him opening a wide lead in South Carolina. Voters in the state that is seen as crucial to winning the nomination appear to have been unaffected by the attacks against Romney that have been launched by his fellow Republicans. The Reuters/Ipsos poll shows 37 percent of the state’s Republican voters back the former governor, with Rep. Ron Paul and Rick Santorum battling for second place with 16 percent. Newt Gingrich has plunged to fourth place with 12 percent of the vote.
On CBS’ “Face the Nation” Gingrich told Bob Schieffer he thinks he’s “going to win next Saturday because as a Georgia Reagan conservative, I fit much more comfortably with the average South Carolina Republican.” The poll, however, tells a different story. When asked who they would favor if the contest were only between Romney and Gingrich, 62 percent of the Republicans picked Romney, reports Reuters.
Even though Republican voters don’t seem to much care about the spate of attacks against Romney’s time at Bain Capital, his opponents for the Republican nomination continue to insist he needs to be better at responding to the criticism or risk getting clobbered by President Obama if he wins the nomination. “It’s fair to raise the questions now, get them out of the way now to make sure that whoever we nominate is clear enough, public enough, accountable enough that they can withstand the Obama onslaught,” Gingrich said Sunday, reports the Associated Press.
The problem is that “most of what the anti-Bain critics have dredged up isn’t accurate,” writes Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post. “The examples that Gingrich and his mini-me, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have chosen to dwell upon don’t even survive superficial fact-checking.”