Romney-Gingrich showdown in S.C.

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Since 1980, the winner of South Carolina's Republican presidential primary has gone on to win the GOP nomination. So what happens here today carries considerable weight.

If you follow the polls, the race is up for grabs here.

On the one hand, you have a resurgent Newt Gingrich, who said at one rally on primary eve, "If every conservative of this state decided to vote for Newt Gingrich, we would win a shockingly big victory tomorrow."

On the other hand, there's a realistic -sounding Mitt Romney, who told supporters yesterday, "I think I said from the very beginning South Carolina is an uphill battle for a guy from Massachusetts. I knew that we're battling hard."

Full coverage: Election 2012

The two have battled in different ways, with Gingrich relying heavily on electrifying debate performances, and Romney depending on an expensive ad campaign, including highly-negative attacks on Gingrich from an unaffiliated group of his supporters.

To see the Dean Reynolds report, click on the video above.

For perspective on the race from CBS News political director John Dickerson and CBS News political correspondent Jan Dickerson, click on the video below.

  • Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.