Winners and Losers Jan. 18: Romney Still Strong
Paul's debate performance draws GOP criticism.
Winner: There was likely a bit more squirming than the campaign probably would have liked on Monday night, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney survived the SCGOP debate with no serious wounds.
And Tuesday brought more good news: polls that showed continued growth for Romney's poll numbers in the final days leading up to the S.C. Primary.
Romney earned 33 percent support among likely Republican primary voters, while Gingrich earned 22 percent. Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Ron Paul both dropped to the third tier, with Santorum earning 14 percent support and Paul getting 12 percent.
Add to that a large list of Palmetto State endorsements that the campaign announced from across the state. Romney may not be the winner on Saturday, but he is acting like a winner right now.
Loser: It's evident that U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has a foreign policy vision that runs counter to some GOP voters, but you don't expect him to get heckled for it.
On Monday night, the crowd at the SCGOP debate couldn't contain itself, barking out at several moments. On Tuesday morning, The Washington Post suggested the disruptions have sidelined Paul's momentum at a very important point in the primary.
And, of course, second place in New Hampshire has meant new scrutiny for Paul. The latest angle: fiscal hawk Paul flies first class.