Political analyst and Democratic pollster Doug Schoen tells Newsmax that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s candidacy will be in “dire jeopardy” if former House Speaker Newt Gingrich can ride Saturday night’s big win into a second victory in the Sunshine State at the end of the month.
“If Romney loses Florida his candidacy is in dire jeopardy,” declares Schoen in an exclusive interview moments after the polls closed in South Carolina on Saturday.
Schoen said that Gingrich’s victory in the Palmetto State appears to have been fueled by the support of conservatives, tea partiers, Christian fundamentalists and voters who were “distinctly uncomfortable by Romney’s brand of capitalism.”
He pointed to Romney’s stumbles in the two South Carolina debates over his tax returns, his private equity dealings at Bain Capital, the rate of tax that he did pay and overall uncertainty over Romney’s candidacy as reasons for Gingrich’s victory.
Schoen had predicted following the New Hampshire primary that the more conservative state of South Carolina would be more closely contested that the Granite State.
He told Newsmax at the time that Romney was likely to prevail unless the opposition consolidated their support around one candidate, something which appears to have happened in the case of Gingrich.
“Big victory Newt Gingrich,” Schoen proclaimed. “It could well be double digits and if Speaker Gingrich prevails by that margin and the implosion in the Romney candidacy continues, all bets are off.”
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