According to the Daily Mail, a poll, announced yesterday, showed a six-point lead of Newt Gingrich over the ex-Governor of Massachusetts.
Moreover, the Clemson University poll gave the former speaker of the House 32 per cent support while Mr Romney got only 26 per cent.
One of Mitt Romney’s top surrogates, former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, when asked about what Romney will do if Gingrich beats him in South Carolina, Sununu responded, “He has to do what they intended to do from the beginning: slog along.”
“Mitt Romney’s strength has been clearly defined as being ready for a long campaign under the new rules,” Sununu added.
The comments are likely to indicate that the former governor of Massachusetts’ campaign is preparing for a possible loss, the Huff Post reports.
However, it doesn’t mean that that Romney can’t win Saturday. The state of the race remains fluid enough less than 24 hours before polls open. But if he does get defeated by his rival, Romney’s campaign will have begun laying the groundwork for its damage control
The worst variant for Romney is that one in which Gingrich victory in South Carolina will provide him the possibility to go on to win Florida on Jan. 31 and will become something of a frontrunner. Besides, the month of February will present new challenges for Gingrich.
Four caucuses are to be held in early February in four states, and they will likely be dominated by Romney and Ron Paul, both of whom have been organizing in those states. After these caucuses, the next contests will not occur until Feb.
During that quite a long period, the Romney campaign will be trying to persuade Republicans that Gingrich is totally unreliable and unpredictable person who cannot became the head of the US. They expect Gingrich to help them make that case, by continuing to indicate lack of discipline and bad behavior.
“He is a ticking time bomb,” said Henry Barbour, a top Republican party fundraiser from Mississippi. “He won’t last. He’s great for a cable news show, but when does he blow up? Not what we need for a president,” Barbour added.
“Romney has the plan, infrastructure and resources to win a quick or protracted campaign. Gingrich and [former Sen. Rick] Santorum will have a very hard time managing this as the pace quickens beyond their ability to execute in all the places they need to campaign. It’s a brutal process.”
Meanwhile Romney hopes to win South Carolina describing the primary as an “uphill battle.” He said: “I’m pretty confident, cautiously optimistic.”
“When I look at the crowd this morning, my enthusiasm meter went up, my confidence goes up. But we’ll see what the numbers are in the final tally.”
“But what I can tell you is this is a campaign that is gonna go the distance, I’m confident we’re gonna get the delegates we need and that despite all of the ups and downs of the campaign, in the final analysis, if I do my job right, get our supporters motivated, why we’ll be able to take the prize.”
He continued: “I think I was tested in Iowa in a major national way. I think I was tested in New Hampshire in a major national way and I’m going to be tested here, Florida, Nevada, Michigan.”
“And I think I said from the very beginning South Carolina is an uphill battle for a guy from Massachusetts. I knew that. We’re battling hard.
“The fact is right now it looks like it’s neck and neck that’s a good spot to be in. I’m pretty pleased and pretty proud about the success of our effort,” he added.