George's Bottom Line
Newt Gingrich's big win in the South Carolina primary has presented quite a surprising turn in the Republican primary battle. The bottom line: every successful presidential nominee has faced a major setback. Is losing to Gingrich in South Carolina the kind of setback that toughens Mitt Romney or is it the beginning of bleeding he can't control?
The upcoming days will tell us. The Florida primary on Jan 31 will determine whether Romney can lock up this nomination quickly or whether there will be bruising fight all the way to the convention. If Newt Gingrich wins in Florida too, this race is blown wide open.
Voting is already underway in Florida with absentee ballots and Romney probably already has a lead there. But it's a huge state - and there are more debates this coming week — and Gingrich has been very strong in debates. And, as we saw on This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, with Rick Santorum's tough talk, the knives are out on all sides.