Here were the final results in South Carolina:  Gingrich 40.4, Romney 27.8, Santorum, 17, Paul 13.

Drop Out Argument:  On what basis does Santorum continue?  His Iowa momentum never lasted beyond Iowa.  South Carolina, with a large evangelical vote whose leadership endorsed him, was Santorum’s best chance, and he could only muster 17%.  To continue on would be to play the spoiler, continuing to split the conservative vote. We need a head-to-head matchup. What else?

Stay In Argument:  Santorum is a more true conservative than the others, and 17% is not too shabby.  It’s a higher percentage than Newt got in Iowa and New Hampshire.   Anything could happen, and voters need another choice other than Ron Paul.  Newt may implode if some new scandal erupts or the weight of attacks on him brings him down again, or Romney may implode once it becomes obvious how weak a candidate he is.  Hanging around keeps a conservative in the race for when the next shoe drops. What else?

Poll is open until 10 a.m. Eastern, Monday.

 
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