Romney Making Inroads with Tea Party?

Is Mitt Romney making inroads with the Tea Party? That at least seems to be the implication of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s endorsement of him today. Haley had promised to make up her mind before Iowa, and apparently Gingrich’s high poll numbers in her state weren’t enough to win her over:

“Today is the day that I’m throwing all of my support behind Mitt Romney for president,” Haley said on FOX & Friends.  ”What I want was someone who is not part of the chaos that is Washington. What I wanted was someone who knew what it was like to turn broken companies around.”

For someone with Tea Party credibility like Haley, it’s useless to try to argue for Romney on the grounds that he’s the true conservative in the race. Movement conservatives will not buy it. But electability is a legitimate issue, and if Haley can make the case that Romney is just as conservative (if not more so) than Gingrich – and has a better chance of getting elected – then that could encourage Tea Partiers to take another look at Romney.