Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gingrich takes South Carolina

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Here’s the tally with 26 percent reporting (NY Times):

Gingrich    60,572      40.7%

Romney    39,261      26.4   

Santorum  26,672      17.9   

Paul           19,590     13.2   

Jim Rutenberg at the NY Times has the story:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Surprising his rivals and upending the highly unpredictable Republican race for the presidency, Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary on Saturday, just 10 days after a fifth-place finish in New Hampshire left the impression his candidacy was all but dead.  

Mr. Gingrich rode to victory by winning a plurality of voters among a wide swath of important Republican voting blocs, outperforming the rest of the four-person field among evangelical Christians and Tea Party supporters, men and even women, who had been expected to vote by comfortable margins in favor of Mitt Romney, the man who was presumed to be the front-runner as of just a few days ago. 

Mr. Romney’s defeat is sure to raise new questions that have dogged him from the start of his campaign over whether he could win over the many conservatives, Tea Party adherents and religious voters who have viewed him with suspicion over his Massachusetts health care initiative and past support for abortion rights. 

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