Analysis: The South Carolina Primary

The Republican Candidates Debate Again (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Republican Candidates Debate Again (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Larry Kane

Philadelphia (CBS) – The first political test in the south is in South Carolina today.

The name of the game in Presidential primary politics is to lower expectations. Therefore if you lose it doesn’t look so bad. When, late yesterday, Mitt Romney said that today’s South Carolina contest would be close, he was really saying I might lose.

Newt Gingrich, who leads Romney in some of the most recent tracking polls, has been uncharacteristically low key in the final hours. Maybe he thinks less is more because on Thursday night he leveled a verbal bunker bomb on the media for headlining the damaging interview by his second wife describing her version of Gingrich’s love life.

It’s also possible that his Debate tirade helped him with the South Carolina electorate while Mitt Romney’s campaign was trying to explain how he paid a 15 percent tax rate. In any event, it looks like a close finish maybe like Iowa where certain victory turned to a dead heat.

Listen to extended interview:

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