South Carolina: A Tale of Two Gingriches By Jonathan Zogby

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On Saturday January 21, 2012, only one Gingrich will be victorious! It's Newt versus Marianne and it's a pick'em right now. Women voters will be key to a Newt Gingrich victory over Mitt Romney in South Carolina. Gingrich has risen in the polls in the last few days to lead Romney in three different polls, with margins of 2, 3 and 6 percent. Those polls were conducted on January 18, 2012 by Rasmussen, Insider Advantage and PPP respectively. This is all good news for the Gingrich campaign but there's one problem, women could make up almost half of the Republican voting electorate for Saturday's primary. The highly anticipated interview of Marianne Gingrich by ABC news could also derail the steam Gingrich has picked up in the last week, even with the exit of fellow conservative Rick Perry.

Will women be turned off by further revelations or will Newt be absolved of his sins? It depends who you ask. Conservative pundits such as Rush and Palin say Newt's past is old news but that's not what the numbers say. A poll by The Washington Times/JZ Analytics of likely primary voters nationwide released this week asked who they thought would be more likely to offer them a helping hand if they needed it. Fourteen percent of men said Mr. Gingrich, but only 7 percent of women did (Washington Times January 18, 2012). For Newt to continue with the wind to his back, South Carolina women will have to be more faithful than women nationwide, and think of him as a reformed gentleman as opposed to a damn Yankee.