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Gingrich comes from behind to win South Carolina primary

[cj_wb]
Saturday, January 21, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich pulled a surprise win in the South Carolina primary on Saturday, throwing off expectations for the race for the GOP nomination.

Media outlets projected Gingrich would win the primary immediately upon close of the polls at 7 pm.

Newt Gingrich. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.)

Update: With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Gingrich had a wide lead with 40.3 percent of the vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was in second with 27.9 percent.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum was in third place with 17 percent of the vote. Coming in fourth was Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) with 13 percent.

In his speech following the results, Santorum said his campaign was about importance of families, marriage and “mothers and fathers.” The candidate has been vocal about his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Earlier this week, Romney was polling ahead of other Republicans in the Palmetto State by double-digits and observers predicted he’d win the primary. But polls on Friday began showing Gingrich was ahead, leading to the win for the candidate.

Chris Barron, chief strategist for the gay conservative group GOProud, congratulated Gingrich and attributed his win to the candidate steering clear of negative attacks on Romney’s business career.

“It is clear that Speaker Gingrich’s poll numbers improved dramatically once he ended his unnecessary and unproductive attacks on Governor Mitt Romney’s record at Bain Capital,” Barron said. “As conservatives we should make it clear that we are the champions of free enterprise.”

Gingrich won the primary after Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the race Thursday and threw his support behind the former U.S. House speaker. Perry was only polling in the single digits in South Carolina, but the shifted support from Perry to Gingrich likely contributed to the outcome of the contest.

The Gingrich win is likely troubling for Romney, who earlier this week was seen as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. That mantle was taken from him after a recount of the Iowa caucus revealed this week that Santorum had actually won there by 34 votes.

Still, Gingrich faces obstacles to clamping down the Republican nomination, including his admitted marital infidelities.

Earlier this week, Marianne Gingrich, the candidate’s second wife, said during an ABC News interview Gingrich wanted an open relationship during the marriage. The candidate later divorced her and married his current and third wife, Callista Gingrich, with whom he was having affair while in his second marriage.

Additionally, although Gingrich has been seen as an alternative to the more moderate Romney, socially conservative, evangelical leaders threw their support behind Santorum during a meeting in Texas last week.

Romney also continues to lead in the national polls. A Gallup poll published Friday gave him a 10-point lead over Gingrich. However, the lead Romney enjoys has been diminished from the standing he enjoyed earlier this week, when he had a 23-point lead over both Gingrich and Santorum.

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21 more reader comments:

  1. more like grinch

    Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 10:39pm
  2. Gingrich santorums a win over Romney

    Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 10:40pm
  3. Hahahaah “comes from behind”…

    Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 10:45pm
  4. Better then Mittens Romney!

    Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 10:45pm
  5. I’m with Fiona…I DO NOT CARE WHAT MITT’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS…’come from behind candidate’…

    Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 10:48pm
  6. Ugh!

    Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 10:50pm
  7. I wasn’t surprised … Frothy was just a wee too darn convicting of their sensitive morals, Mittens don’t love Jesus enough … Yea, the adulterer makes perfect sense … It’s something so many of them can relate to! lol

    Posted on Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 10:50pm
  8. I’m sure Gingrich is glad to get it in the Dirty South.

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 12:12am
  9. bad news is most candidates who win south carolina end up winning their parties election for the presidential run. anyone else going to Canada with me?

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 2:40am
  10. Bring it on, Newt. LGBT and all other disrespected People will be watching carefully and lining up their ballots.

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 4:26am
  11. Do not underestimate the power of the pro-adultery republicans!

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:27am
  12. His ex-wife(s) says he comes from behind! (tehe)

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:28am
  13. That’s it. I’m moving to .. ANYWHERE ELSE.

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:28am
  14. Newt, the personification of family values, using daughters from his first wife to convince everyone that his second wife is lying about his third wife. And the problem with gay marriage again was what?

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:29am
  15. Ewwwww… He “comes from behind”??? I didn’t need that visual.

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:30am
  16. I don’t get it… 3 wives and having an affair (probably more than one to be honest) and he has the nerve to oppose same sex marriage? I am genuinely confused.

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:34am
  17. I don’t get why he can have 3 wives and commit adultery (probably more than once) and yet still oppose same sex marriage? I am genuinely confused.

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:37am
  18. @Zachary Cudmore, see, he’s supposedly pro-family despite cheating and leaving wives when they get sick. Pro-family people like Santorum support him. It goes back to both of them being straight. If Gingrich cared about family, he wouldn’t cheat and leave his wives. If Santorum cared about family, he wouldn’t support Gingrich. They’re both hypocrites and it disgusts me.

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:56am
  19. He’s NOT going to win …

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 9:59am
  20. that’s like his own little delusion in his head that he is pro-family when in reality he is everything BUT.

    Posted on Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 4:01pm
  21. Honestly it is better that he wins because it would be funny to see him being wiped the floor by Obama.

    Posted on Monday, January 23, 2012 at 5:18pm