It's Possible

Election Oracle: Newt's Chances of Winning Nomination Soar

Polls, markets and the Web all responded to Newt Gingrich's South Carolina win Saturday with belated recognition that he really could be more than an entertaining presence at debates. Gingrich's chances of claiming the GOP nomination shot up after his surprising and decided win in South Carolina on Saturday, while Mitt Romney's tumbled.

The Daily Beast's Election Oracle registered a dramatic 20-point shift over the weekend in the two rival's chances, with Gingrich up 10 points—giving him a 26 percent chance of becoming the nominee— and Romney down by the same number.

The Election Oracle's predictions are based on a formula that includes data from the InTrade prediction market, polling averages, and its own daily "favorability ratings." To determine favorability ratings, the Election Oracle tracks 40,000 news sites, blogs, message boards, Twitter feeds, and other social-media sources to analyze what millions of people are saying about the candidates—and determines whether the Web buzz is positive or negative. (See methodology here.)

There's still a tough road ahead for Gingrich, but he's now the subject of as much online buzz as Romney, who just a week ago dominated the online conversation—a sign that the Web is again taking Gingrich's prospects seriously. And Public Policy Polling Tweeted Sunday evening that the two men are now neck-and-neck in Florida (their poll, which will be released this evening, will be the first out in Florida post-South Carolina).

But while Gingrich is closing the gap and has momentum, the Election Oracle still shows Romney is twice as likely to end up as the nominee.