I thought my iPad hadn’t updated properly this morning when I sat down to read the morning paper and saw a headline saying Santorum was ahead of Romney in Iowa. But a recount of caucus votes shows that Santorum actually won the thing. Er, wow. Does this change anything in SC? Does it matter more than the fact that Rick Perry is, as of this morning, dropping out and endorsing Gingrich? 

The latter is far more important news. Perry has polled in the single digits in SC, but with Gingrich emerging from the Tuesday debate with momentum that’s starting to close the gap with Romney, the six points or so Perry has polled will push Gingrich within clear striking distance of Romney. Tonight’s debate will be critical. Gingrich is going to go pit bull on Romney. If Santorum turns in a less than four-star performance, I suspect that many of his supporters will defect to Gingrich before Saturday’s vote.

If ABC airs its supposed blockbuster interview with ex-Newt wife Marianne tonight, as reported, will that affect people’s decision? Will SC Republicans be angry not at the dirtbag husband Newt, or at the media for what Newt will plainly say is their attempt to move the election to Romney by reporting personally compromising information on the eve of the SC vote?

Suddenly, like a Southern family reunion, this mess has gotten a lot messier, and a lot more interesting.

 

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