• By Bill O'Reilly

    A new Gallup poll out today says just 27 percent of Americans describe themselves as Republicans; 31 percent say they are Democrats and whopping 40 percent now say they are Independent.

    But the poll's a bit misleading because America does remain a rather conservative country as far as values are concerned. We are not a libertine nation no matter how hard Hollywood tries to make us one.

    But in the political arena, a strictly conservative candidate will have trouble getting elected president of the United States.

    Gone are the days when ideology can persuade the majority of voters. Now most Americans want performance therefore men like Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, polar opposites can get elected to the big job, it's all about persuasion. And to Mitt Romney who has become the likely Republican nominee. Brand-new poll out of Suffolk University says that Mr. Romney is well ahead in New Hampshire tonight. And that vote is tomorrow.

    The poll says Romney has 33 percent; Ron Paul 20; Jon Huntsman 13; New Gingrich 11 and Rick Santorum 10. In South Carolina where the vote is January 21st, Romney is also leading in most of the polls. So it's clearly the governor's race to lose and the debates over the weekend really didn't alter that. The question now becomes how should conservative Americans handle the Romney situation?

    Well it all depends on how you see President Obama. All the polls say that Romney would offer Obama the hardest challenge. To believe that a Rick Perry or even a Newt Gingrich could compete effectively with the President is a stretch. The scientific polling is pretty clear about that.

    "Talking Points" expects Mitt Romney to do very well tomorrow in New Hampshire. Also the Republican machine in South Carolina is now on the governor's side so he should compete well there. And in Florida, again the machine is backing Romney. So while it's not over until the fat lady sings, many hefty women are avidly rehearsing.

    But there is a cautionary note for Romney, he must define why the USA is losing power. He must make his case very clearly without any waffling. The candidate who does run against Barack Obama is going to need a spine of iron, an arrow-point message and most importantly is going to have to be bold and fresh without losing credibility.

    This will be a brutal campaign and the Governor might even get his hair messed up.

    And that's "The Memo."

    "Pinheads & Patriots."

    Tim Tebow and God. As you may know, the Denver Broncos quarterback often prays on the sidelines, in the locker room, in his car, and everywhere else, and he's often mocked for doing it. But yesterday the Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Broncos have been in three overtime games this here and they've won all of them. At the 40, the 50, to the 30, to the 20, to the 10, and they won on the first play of overtime! So many doubters out there, about Denver all season long.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    O'REILLY: So, I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, Pittsburgh's a much better team than the Broncos on paper. Are you still discounting Tebow's connection to God? If you do that, you might be pinheaded, although the deity has a tough one in New England next weekend. A whole lot of praying on that one, boy.

    — You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com.