Let’s call it a draw… Iowa’s state Republican party has decided to declare the results of the caucuses a virtual tie. But why don’t they just call it like it is – an apparent Santorum victory? Rick Santorum emerged with 34 more votes than Mitt Romney in the state’s final count. But the party told the Des Moines Register that results from eight precincts have gone missing, so there’s no way to know for sure who actually won. What a mess. The big question here: If Romney didn’t actually win Iowa, as the final count suggests, will that wipe away some of his aura of invincibility heading into South Carolina? Or does Santorum’s lead in Iowa help him with voters in South Carolina, which hurts Newt Gingrich, which in turn helps Mitt Romney? Wow.
And that’s a huge question, especially considering our new NBC News poll in South Carolina shows Newt Gingrich gaining ground on Romney. Romney’s at 34% and Gingrich at 24%. And if you consider the sample from the days after Monday’s debate, Gingrich does even better. There’s definite Newt-mentum on the ground in South Carolina.
The New York Times looks at how Romney’s massive wealth is being used against him.
There could be a bombshell in the making as an interview with Gingrich’s second wife is set to air tonight on ABC.
President Obama is out with his first campaign ad – defending against attacks on his record and character by the likes of the Koch brothers.
Meanwhile, the new New York Times/CBS News poll shows Obama’s vulnerability among swing voters, who don’t approve his handling of the economy and aren’t sure what his plans for the country are in a second term.