In Montgomery, Ala., Candy Sumrall, a 56-year-old transportation worker and declared "strong Newt supporter," said she thinks many people will vote for Romney because the media have proclaimed him the front-runner. She believes Gingrich is the only person with a real chance to defeat Obama.
"All the things Romney flip-flopped on, you don't change the way you think and what you believe because you think that's what people want to hear," Sumrall said. "Mitt Romney is Obama lite."
Jillson said the South will remain solidly Republican in November.
"If Romney is the nominee, he will certainly win as much of the South as McCain did last time," Jillson said. "The fight will be in the periphery. It will be Virginia and Florida. The rest of the South is pretty secure."
Associated Press writers Phillip Rawls and Andy Brownfield in Montgomery, Ala., and Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, La., contributed to this report.
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