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5 Keys to South Carolina Primary

Gingrich could make it a two-man GOP primary race
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2012 1:53 PM CST

(Newser) – With Newt Gingrich surging and Mitt Romney admitting he could lose South Carolina, Huffington Post offers five keys to the primary that has picked every Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan:

  1. Newt vs. Mitt: If Romney wins, he will be treated as the future GOP nominee. If Gingrich wins, the media will create a "Three Contests, Three Winners" storyline that assumes Rick Santorum still has a chance.

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  1. But does he? The news that Santorum won Iowa hasn't yet registered on the political radar screen. And his subtle debating skills this week aroused few passions. The press might bust him for it.
  2. Ron Paul: If his percentage is as strong as in Iowa and New Hampshire—after he barely tried in South Carolina—he must be considered a force.
  3. Sarah Palin vs. Nikki Haley: Once nearly BFFs, they are now at odds, with Haley backing Romney and Mama Grizzly supporting Gingrich—if only to make sure Mitt doesn't cakewalk into the nomination.
Click here for HuffPo's fifth point, about the "Colbert bump." (Read more South Carolina primary stories.)

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