Newt Gingrich could win South Carolina.
The latest polling numbers from CNN show him closing in on front-runner Mitt Romney. Take a look.
None/ No one... 2%
So if Gingrich wins South Carolina on Saturday does it just prolong the inevitable?
Forget about how the field settles after the primary for a minute and focus on the most important thing to Gingrich's success this campaign season: the debates.
The two debates before the Florida primary could be major turning points for Gingrich but after that he will have to wait until late February for the next one. The long break between debates could cripple any momentum he has coming out of Florida.
Nobody has benefited more from the gazillion nationally televised debates than Gingrich. His mastery of the forum and ability to get his message out for free was the shot in the arm that his stumbling bid needed to get back on track.
The debates are really all he has going for him. Right now his campaign does not have the funds to run ads the way Romney does and he does not have the ground game to get his message out the way Paul does. Then there are the embarrassing ballot access issues. So far only Paul and Romney have made all the ballot deadlines, something they can tout as indicative that they are the only serious candidates left in the race.
Almost a month without debates could spell the end of Gingrich's run.
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