BOSTON (CBS) – After Mitt Romney’s sweeping victory in New Hampshire, his competitors were quick to head south for the next battleground, South Carolina.

That primary is one week from Saturday.

Romney faltered badly in South Carolina four years ago, and that gives hope to several of the candidates Romney left in the dust in New Hampshire Tuesday night.

Then again, as the New Hampshire results suggested, 2012 is turning out to be very different from 2008.

Watch Keller @ Large:

Now, it’s put up or shut up time for Newt Gingrich, hoping South Carolina voters will salvage his faltering candidacy.

“I think over the next 10 days, we will consolidate the conservatives across South Carolina. And I think as we do that, we will win the South Carolina primary and that will set the stage for a very exciting Florida,” said Gingrich.

So, Gingrich is pouring millions into email ads and aggressive TV ads attacking Mitt Romney.

“The support of conservatives here, evangelicals, independents; we were winning among all those groups. So if I can duplicate that elsewhere, I could become the nominee,” said Romney.

But, South Carolina isn’t New Hampshire. Will the clout of evangelicals and other social conservatives boost Gingrich, Rick Perry or Rick Santorum as they run to Romney’s right?

Wesley Donehue, a South Carolina GOP consultant, worked on Romney’s ’08 campaign in the state, when voters saw him as too liberal. But, he says that’s not a problem four years later.

“This time around, we just want someone who can beat Barack Obama,” said Donehue. “I don’t think you have to be the most conservative, but you still have to be conservative.”

If Romney wins in South Carolina, the race is over.

We say that for two main reasons: no Republican has ever won the party’s nomination without winning South Carolina, and the next primary state is Florida, where Romney’s big financial and organizational advantages could prove decisive.

Jon Keller

Comments (9)
  1. Willow says:

    Then we in other states just have to wait and see what happens and not bother going to the polls for any more primaries? Give me a break!

  2. KathyD says:

    The immortal Fred Thomspon. Hahahaha!

  3. KathyD says:

    Or Thompson, if you can type.

  4. Silvia Marquise says:

    Anything goes to make a dollar is NOT Capitalism. Under your strict definition drug dealers are Capitalists like Mitt Romney.The drug dealer or corporate raider are both wrong. Gov. Perry and Newt Gingrich have a right and obligation to attack these forms of Capitalism. The business venture was three separate parameters is it moral, ethical, or legal. The drug dealer is immoral and illegal. Mitt Romney is immoral and unethical. Decent people loath, despise, and hate both of these Capitalist. It is right to shine a light on the drug dealer and a Vulture like Mitt Romney because they both exploit. REAL Conservatives are now attacking Scumbags like drug dealers and Mitt Romney REAL Conservatives are true to their Values which are by the way are AMERICAN values.

  5. Adam Dominik says:

    WOW!!! NO. Mention of top contender RON PAUL!!! The mainstream media MUST really feel threatened!! Just one of many reasons I will support Ron Paul 2012!!!

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