**UPDATED**

Mitt Romney’s opened a whopper of a lead in South Carolina. Who says negative attacks can’t work, this time in reverse, especially when they shoot as wildly as When Mitt Romney Came To Town, and go well wide of the mark.

The poll showed 37 percent of South Carolina Republican voters back Romney. Congressman Ron Paul and former Senator Rick Santorum tied for second place with 16 percent support.

Gingrich, a former speaker of the House of Representatives, has fallen far back after holding a strong lead in South Carolina in December. He was in fourth place at 12 percent in the Reuters/Ipsos poll.

[update] However, the consensus is that though Mitt Romney is ahead, it’s not by nearly as much as the Reuters/IPSO’s poll claims.

As you’ll see from the video above, individual stories continue to follow Mitt Romney everywhere. One unemployed woman said God told her to find him, which resulted in Romney giving her cash.

“God didn’t tell me to go to nobody else, he told me to pray for Romney,” said Williams, when asked why she has decided to support Romney. “I listened to the Lord.”

Newt Gingrich is now getting booed for his efforts against Mitt Romney and capitalism.

It’s got to be a sobering moment for some Democratic partisans readying the confetti guns, thinking that Bain Capital will be an easy shoot and score for them. Scalpel approach could prove deadly, but when has any campaign not preferred a machete? I’m still not convinced there won’t be ways around it for Romney, especially since the people most appalled are very likely not going to vote for him anyway.

Rick Santorum got too little way too late from “150 Christian leaders, business leaders and conservative activists” who endorsed him yesterday.

From the in case you missed it on Friday files, Standard & Poor’s went wild, playing slasher Over There.

S&P lowered its long-term rating on Cyprus, Italy, Portugal and Spain by two notches, and cut its rating on Austria, France, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia by one notch.

The move puts highly indebted Italy on the same BBB+ level as Kazakhstan and pushes Portugal into junk status.

The credit-rating agency affirmed the current long-term ratings for Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Americans for Prosperity, a Koch backed group, is doing a $5 million ad buy against Pres. Obama on Solyndra, which will hit during the State of the Union on January 24.

On SOPA, the White House tries to straddle the issue (I know, you’re shocked), while lawmakers are getting creamed by constituents (keep those emails and phone calls coming). From EFF:

Looks like proponents of the Internet Blacklist Bills are finally beginning to realize that they won’t be able to ram through massive, job-killing legislation without a fight. First, Sen. Patrick Leahy, sponsor of the PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA), announced on Thursday that he would recommend that the Senate further study the dangerous DNS blocking provisions in that bill before implementation. Then, a group of six influential senators wrote to Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, urging that the Senate slow down and postpone the upcoming vote on PIPA. Sen. Ben Cardin, a co-sponsor of PIPA, also took a measured stance against the bill, saying he “would not vote for final passage of PIPA, as currently written.” Cardin cited consituent activism as the primary reason for the about-face.

Oh, and if you’re thinking of seeing the film Iron Lady, you should reconsider.