Romney Might Actually Win South Carolina

He wasn't expected to, but nobody seems to be challenging

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 11, 2011 2:27 PM CST

(Newser) – Mitt Romney isn’t supposed to win South Carolina. That’s been the conventional wisdom all election cycle, given his fourth-place finish here in 2008. And yet, CNN can’t help but notice that with the clock ticking, Romney’s still at or near the top of the polls in the Palmetto state. "It used to be, ‘Hey, this guy’s a Mormon. He’s the Yankee governor,’” says state Rep. Nathan Ballentine. “But now it’s the economy people are focused on. I am liking his chances.”

Of course, Ballentine’s one of only three elected officials in the state to endorse Romney, and the campaign clearly isn’t betting on a win. Romney has just three paid staffers there and hasn’t run a single television ad. His visit there today is only his fifth. Yet his poll numbers are, if not growing, holding steadily high. “It’s like a soccer game,” says one former supporter. “He is going to win a 0-0 overtime battle.”

Mitt Romney shakes hands with people at Farm Boys restaurant during a visit in May to Chapin, SC.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
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At the end of the day, I am going to be forced to pick the smartest, most capable guy in the room. At some point you look around the field and that becomes Romney. - An anonymous former Romney fundraiser who's been looking for another candidate

Everybody keeps saying he's stuck at 25%, 22%, 27%. Well put me in that briar patch. I'd love to be stuck at that number where you're that close to winning. - Luke Byars, a strategist from Romney's 2008 campaign

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