South Carolina Primary: Newt’s The Big Winner, Romney And Paul Losers

by William Teach | January 22, 2012 8:57 am

He not only pulled it out, he did so in spectacular fashion

(MSNBC[1]) Newt Gingrich has won the South Carolina Republican primary, capping off a remarkable comeback for his presidential bid that reshapes the trajectory of the battle for the GOP nomination as the race now heads to Florida and beyond.

The results mark the end of a tumultuous week in politics that saw Gingrich erase and then overcome the lead former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney had in the Palmetto State following his victory in the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary. Gingrich came on strong in the closing days of the campaign, looking to rally under his banner the many conservatives unwilling to get behind Romney, who had sought to posture himself as the eventual nominee.

How spectacular was the win? (graphic via the Politico, cut off the small amount of votes for the also rans)

Newt went from being way behind in the polling to an almost 13 point win. What does this mean? We now have three different winners for three contests. Two things we know are that Gingrich did incredible due to his debate performances[2] in South Carolina, and the attack by ABC on Gingrich using one of his ex-wives was not only a liberal failure, but surely garnered him some sympathy support. We also know that Newt is at his best when he is going after Obama and the Democrats, along with the legacy media, in his professorial mode.

We also know that this very much hurts Mitt Romney, who might now be having a few issues in Florida[3]. The Politico’s Maggie Haberman, in her 9 takeaways[4] article mentions that “Romney may not realize he’s having a near-death experience.” Though, I’m not so sure that Perry’s backing had all that much to do with Newt’s big win. And Maggie is thrilled that Nikki Haley saw the guy she backed, Romney, come in a distant 2nd. Liberals do despise women who refuse to stay within the boxes liberals put them in. But, Newt did very well with women, 36% to Romney’s 30%.

What about Santorum? Personally, I wouldn’t characterize this as a bad showing. He’s never been a top tier candidate, despite the Iowa win. He’s always been known as a social issues guy, even though he is good on fiscal issues, and this election will be about fiscal issues.

The big loser? Well, Romney, for one. Even more so, Ron Paul. The debates were, again, big for the S.C. voters, and I’d suspect they didn’t appreciate the possibility of putting Cranky Uncle Ron in his ill-fitting suits up against Obama. They obviously didn’t appreciate Paul’s typical blame America rhetoric, which Newt took Paul to task on[5]. How will the Florida voters, who often tend to be a little older, deal with Mr. Blame America? We’ll see what Paul says during the Florida debate. Florida has quite a few retirees who served in the military, and do not appreciate put the blame for everything bad on America as Paul typically does.

That said, I think, with all due respect, Erick Erickson[6] is way off base

Newt Gingrich’s rise has a lot to do with Newt Gingrich’s debate performance. But it has just as much to do with a party base in revolt against its thought and party leaders in Washington, DC. The base is revolting because they swept the GOP back into relevance in Washington just under two years ago and they have been thanked with contempt ever since.

Yes, Romney may be the party insider choice. But, this surge by Newt is not due to any sort of base revolt. This kind of talk always amuses me, because it’s just not in our DNA to say “hmm, those big shots in D.C. support Romney, and they aren’t doing what we say, so we’ll vote for the other guy.” If that was the case, Perry would still be in the race, and more votes would have gone to Paul or Santorum. There’s no revolt going on, because, let’s face it, Newt would be the face of the GOP Washington insider.

Now on to Florida! Who do you think will win? If it’s anything like South Carolina, it’ll depend on the Monday night debate.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[7]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[8].

  1. MSNBC:
  2. debate performances:
  3. few issues in Florida:
  4. 9 takeaways:
  5. Newt took Paul to task on:
  6. Erick Erickson:
  7. Pirate’s Cove:
  8. @WilliamTeach:

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