NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

News networks project a Newt Gingrich victory in South Carolina Republican primary

If news net­works’ pro­jec­tions are to be believed, Newt Gin­grich has just won the 2012 South Car­oli­na Repub­li­can pri­ma­ry, mak­ing him the third can­di­date in the par­ty’s nar­row­ing pres­i­den­tial field to have won a nom­i­nat­ing con­test this month. As pun­dits on cable tele­vi­sion are not­ing, nev­er before have Iowa, New Hamp­shire, and South Car­oli­na Repub­li­cans each picked a dif­fer­ent Repub­li­can as their top choice for the nom­i­na­tion before. That means his­to­ry is being made tonight.

Gin­grich’s vic­to­ry, if con­firmed by the actu­al results, would be a huge boost to his cam­paign head­ing into the Flori­da pri­ma­ry on Jan­u­ary 31st. Gin­grich fin­ished behind most of his remain­ing rivals in both Iowa and New Hamp­shire, but stayed in the race and now appears to have reaped the rewards of being persistent.

Polling done with­in the last few days indi­cat­ed that Gin­grich’s cam­paign was gain­ing momen­tum, lead­ing many pun­dits to spec­u­late that he might win tonight. The for­mer speak­er, who was sacked by his own par­ty after the 1998 midterms, turned in a fierce debate per­for­mance on Thurs­day night and also ben­e­fit­ed from the endorse­ments of Rick Per­ry and Sarah Palin.

The race is expect­ed to imme­di­ate­ly shift to Flori­da, one of the nation’s most pop­u­lous states, begin­ning tomor­row. The four major can­di­dates still in the race (Gin­grich, Rom­ney, San­to­rum, and Paul) have all agreed to a debate on Mon­day night in Tam­pa, the host city for the 2012 Repub­li­can Nation­al Convention.

UPDATE, 4:39 pm: Very few votes have actu­al­ly been tal­lied and report­ed yet. Notice how small the statewide num­bers are… no can­di­date has more than 1,000 votes, and Rom­ney cur­rent­ly has the lead (which prob­a­bly won’t be the case in a few hours). No precincts have ful­ly report­ed yet. These are very ear­ly numbers!

Michele Bach­mann
0.20%4 votes
Her­man Cain
0.61%12 votes
Newt Gin­grich
25.18%497 votes
Jon Hunts­man
1.98%39 votes
Gary John­son
0.05%1 vote
Ron Paul
9.32%184 votes
Rick Per­ry
2.18%43 votes
Mitt Rom­ney
47.67%941 votes
Rick San­to­rum
12.82%253 votes

UPDATE, 5:29: Here’s where the race stands now, with 148 of 2,130 precincts report­ing. Gin­grich appears to be build­ing some­thing of a com­mand­ing lead.

Michele Bach­mann
0.10%44 votes
Her­man Cain
1.38%600 votes
Newt Gin­grich
37.21%16,201 votes
Jon Hunts­man
0.34%148 votes
Gary John­son
0.03%13 votes
Ron Paul
14.12%6,146 votes
Rick Per­ry
0.59%258 votes
Mitt Rom­ney
27.37%11,917 votes
Rick San­to­rum
18.86%8,212 votes

UPDATE, 5:38 PM: The mood at FreeRe­pub­lic, a pop­u­lar hang­out for move­ment con­ser­v­a­tives, seems pret­ty jubi­lant tonight. Here’s a sam­pling of the comments:

Boo Yah!

And that hap­pened because peo­ple vote for ideas that appeal to their aspi­ra­tions, hopes and dreams.

This is Newtastic!

— by Vendome

Open Mes­sage to Rove and the GOP: Rom­ney is a fake robot­ic Ken doll that stut­ters and needs to give up run­ning already.

— by Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid!

Newt… Newt… Newt .……Thank You God for answer­ing our prayers!!!!!!!

— by SweetCaroline

Out­stand­ing. And I hope San­to­rum comes in sec­ond and beats Rom­ney, too. Rick can come off like a stiff…but he is a man of his con­vic­tions. It’s a shame the ear­li­er debates didn’t give him as much face­time as the most recent one. We’ll see how the vote totals come in…

— by SueRae

There seems to be plen­ty of anti-Rom­ney sen­ti­ment on oth­er nation­al con­ser­v­a­tive blogs and forums as well. They’re the only two can­di­dates left that the Repub­li­can base seems to be ral­ly­ing around. Ron Paul has his own con­stituen­cy (lib­er­tar­i­ans) but that group only ascribes to some right wing val­ues, not all.

Whether San­to­rum will have the resources to vig­or­ous­ly con­test Flori­da remains to be seen. But Gin­grich will be land­ing in the Sun­shine State with a burst of momen­tum fol­low­ing his appar­ent vic­to­ry tonight.

As long as Gin­grich can bat­tle to a draw in Flori­da, he’ll be well posi­tioned to move on to Maine and Neva­da, which hold cau­cus­es on Feb­ru­ary 4th.

UPDATE, 7 PM: 1,516 of 2,130 precincts report­ing in. Gin­grich is clear­ly the win­ner. He’s been gain­ing all night and will fin­ish with more than 40% of the vote.

Michele Bach­mann
0.08%323 votes
Her­man Cain
1.12%4,447 votes
Newt Gin­grich
39.39%156,940 votes
Jon Hunts­man
0.18%720 votes
Gary John­son
0.03%134 votes
Ron Paul
13.56%54,026 votes
Rick Per­ry
0.44%1,740 votes
Mitt Rom­ney
27.29%108,720 votes
Rick San­to­rum
17.92%71,407 votes

Note that Her­man Cain — the for­mer God­fa­ther’s Piz­za exec­u­tive — is get­ting more votes than Rick Per­ry, Michelle Bach­mann, and Jon Hun­st­man com­bined. If you’re won­der­ing why, it’s prob­a­bly because of this.

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