What does Romney's win mean for SC's primary picking streak? - FOX Carolina 21

What does Romney's win mean for SC's primary picking streak?

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The Florida primary is over. So what does that mean for South Carolina?

Mitt Romney is coming off last night's win in Florida with momentum, leaving South Carolina's primary choice - Newt Gingrich - many points behind.

The news of Romney winning Florida Tuesday night didn't come as a surprise to many. But after such a strong victory, pundits now say Gingrich has an uphill battle against Romney.  All this is happening after just 10 days from winning the South Carolina primary.

And some say the Palmetto State's streak of winning the candidates will be over this year.

"I don't think things look real good for Newt Gingrich right now," says Furman University Professor Brent Nelsen. "He doesn't have the organization, he doesn't have the money that Romney has."

Nelsen says the future of the GOP candidates comes down to electability.

Nelsen adds, "People feel safe with Mitt Romney. They might like the passion of Newt Gingrich."

We sought out both Republicans and Democrats to get their thoughts on last night's primary.  Greenville Democrat Joann Montague says, "The Republicans will come around for Romney.  There will be some that'll sit on their hands and not work for him."
    
But Spartanburg Republican Larry Bateman is a little more careful with his words, saying,
"Records are made to be broken, and it's possible that it will be. But you might be surprised to see that South Carolina is vindicated."

Bateman says Romney's victory in Florida was largely due to the money he spent there. But he adds that with the victory comes a reality check to the other GOP candidates.

"If a lesson can be learned from this by all the candidates, it's to get back on message and speak to 'we the people' instead of trying to tear down the other guy," he says.

Bateman is willing to wait to see what the people decide. But others now say the writing is on the wall.

"The chances are we've broken our string," says Nelsen. "We have, of course, chosen the Republican nominee since 1980, but maybe all good things come to an end."

If Gingrich isn't the nominee, experts say it won't harm South Carolina's reputation because Republican candidates still have to win the "conservative heartland."  But almost everyone was in agreement that between now and convention time, it's going to be a tough fight to the nomination.

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