Respected pollster Matt Towery tells Newsmax that Newt Gingrich’s victory Saturday in South Carolina will give him a boost heading into the Sunshine State, but that the former House speaker still faces a “gargantuan” challenge.
“Romney has been certainly hurt, perhaps very damaged,” said Towery, chief pollster for InsiderAdvantage, in an exclusive interview from South Carolina.
“As a pollster, it’s hard for me to say whether Romney can recover or not. Everybody has been bounding and rebounding. I expect Gingrich to get a boost,” he said. “I don’t know it will be a leading boost as we saw in South Carolina from the debates.”
Towery said that Gingrich’s main obstacles heading into the Jan. 31 Florida primary are money and organization. “He’s got to raise a lot of money,” said Towery. “I think his biggest issue is organization. Can he get organized quickly enough? Because he’s outmanned.”
At some point, Gingrich also may want to ask former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum to bow out of the race or hope that he does so on his own as Texas Gov. Rick Perry did on Thursday, Towery said.
Gingrich praised Santorum in his victory remarks on Saturday, saying that Santorum showed “enormous courage” in Iowa when his campaign lacked financial resources.
“Here’s a guy who articulates the values of social conservatism, who articulates the importance of manufacturing, and who may have been about as right about the dangers of Iran as anybody in this country in the last 10 years,” Gingrich said.
Towery said Romney will have to get his campaign back on track and avoid further stunts like sending a cake to Gingrich to mark an all-but-forgotten anniversary around an ethics probe, as he did on Saturday.
“It’s just absolutely silly. It comes across as foolish,” Towery said of the Romney campaign. “They clearly are nervous over the tax issue so they are trying to come up with everything that they can throw to divert people’s attention.”
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