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Over at FiveThirtyEight, the political blog that, in the Sahara-like bleak vastness of the New York Times, remains an oasis of common sense, shrewd analysis, lean writing and general excellence, Nate Silver now gives Gingrich a 64 percent chance of winning the South Carolina primary tomorrow, Romney only a 36 percent chance. (That’s right. All that Silver offers either Ron Paul or Rick Santorum is a big fat zero.)
What’s almost more interesting is that Nate Silver feels…abashed.
What has happened…[over the last week] has frankly surprised me a great deal. The momentum in South Carolina shifted literally overnight; one pollster showed an incredible 22-point swing against Mr. Romney and toward Newt Gingrich over the course of a 24-hour period after the Monday night debate.
Although I thought that Mr. Gingrich had a strong debate on Monday night, and although I’m usually pretty careful to warn my readers that primary polling can be highly volatile, that’s not the sort of thing you see every day.
No, it most certainly isn’t.
Santorum won in Iowa, Mitt took New Hampshire, and now Newt appears ready to score in South Carolina. This is getting interestinger and interestinger.