The Other McCain

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SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY RESULTS: Newt Gingrich Stops Mitt Romney’s ‘Inevitability’; Rick Santorum Places Third

Posted on | January 21, 2012 | 32 Comments

The polls just closed and we are at Mark Clark Hall on the campus of the Citadel, where Rick Santorum will have his Primary Night celebration. Santorum today said he would be pleased with a third-place finish and would definitely stay in the race through the Jan. 31 Florida primary.

Fox News declared Newt Gingrich the winner here the minute the polls at 7 p.m. and apparently, the questions now are (a) what Gingrich’s margin of victory will be, and (c) whether Santorum will beat Ron Paul for third place.

UPDATE: CBS News on the South Carolina exit polls:

Sixty-four percent said the debates were an important factor for them; just 34 percent said they were not. Gingrich won standing ovations in both debates while Romney often struggled — and at one point received a smattering of boos for equivocating over how many years of his tax returns he would release.
A majority of voters — 53 percent — said they made up their mind about who to back within the last few days.

UPDATE II: Just talked to Santorum campaign communications director Hogan Gidley, who referred to this week’s late-breaking news that Santorum won the Iowa caucuses. Romney “was going to 3-and-0 three days ago.” The subtraction of Iowa from Romney’s win column and his weak performance in two debates this week has “blown a hole in his inevitability,” Gidley said. Now each candidate has one win — Santorum in Iowa, Romney in New Hampshire and, apparently, Gingrich in South Carolina — Gidley said: “We’re starting over fresh in Florida.”

Santorum is already advertising in Florida and will unveil a new ad there Sunday.

UPDATE III: The world’s most famous homeschooling dad:

UPDATE IV: Ron Paul was ridiculously long-winded in his speech, forcing the crowd here to wait interminably for Rick Santorum’s turn. During his speech, he was cheerful and smiling, and concluded by saying, “Join the fight!”

One “Occupy” heckler was started shouting during the speech, and then another half-dozen of the “Occupiers” erupted after the speech ended. They were escorted out by security, and then police arrived to escort them off campus. The results, with 67 percent of precincts reporting:

Gingrich ……….. 41%
Romney ………… 26%
Santorum ………. 18%
Paul ……………… 13%

Notice that Gingrich’s margin over Romney (15 points) is greater than Romney’s margin over Santorum (8 points). Romney’s campaign made a strategic miscalculation. There were 11 days between the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary and today’s primary in South Carolina. And until Monday, Romney’s mix of TV ads here still included attacks on Santorum. Once they realized  that Gingrich was gaining ground, they switch to nonstop attacks on Newt, but the weight of Romney’s ad attacks was less than the impact of Newt’s strong debates.

But Mitt’s “inevitable” mojo spell is now decisively broken, and the questions now are multiple: Can Mitt get his mojo back? Will Newt be able to avoid further “drama”? Can Santorum get the financial resources to stay in the race, hoping to be the last man standing if Newt auto-destructs? Also, given Newt’s decisive margin, was it really necessary for Perry to drop out before the primary in order to stop Mitt?

Discuss among yourselves. I’ve got a deadline tonight for the American Spectator, so that’s all the blogging I’ll be doing for a while.


32 Responses to “SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY RESULTS: Newt Gingrich Stops Mitt Romney’s ‘Inevitability’; Rick Santorum Places Third”

  1. That Mr. G Guy's Blog
    January 21st, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    South Carolina …Election Day… 1-21-12 Live Coverage…

    Good morning,  I’m Mike and, along with my Wife network, Phoebe will be providing live coverage of the South Carolina GOP Primary Election 2012. Today in Upstate South Carolina it is currently 45 degrees, rainy and gloomy, strong thunderstorms expected…

  2. DAN
    January 21st, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    Fox has already announced for Newt!

    Polling only closed 24 minutes ago!

  3. South Carolina Primary Results: Live Blog
    January 21st, 2012 @ 7:32 pm

    […] Other McCain reports that Santorum’s campaign has confirmed to him that they’ll be in it until at least after Florida’s primary, regardless of the […]

  4. Donald Douglas
    January 21st, 2012 @ 7:46 pm
  5. ThePaganTemple
    January 21st, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

    Just curious, does Santorum have a website? That would help him make up for a hell of a lot where he lacks in money and organization. No, its not a cure-all, but it would damn well help.

    Here’s how I think it will turn out by the end of the night.

      Gingrich 43%
      Romney  27%
    Santorum 19%
    Paul           11%

  6. CO
    January 21st, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

    Mitt cannot win the nationals, Santorum cannot win the primary.

    To ensure a Republican president and to be a gentleman Santorum should bow out and endorse Gingrich.

  7. The South Carolina Primary: Ruffin It « The Camp Of The Saints
    January 21st, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

    […] Click Here For Stacy’s Reporting […]

  8. DAN
    January 21st, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    I concur.

    But Santorum was bitter when interviewed tonight on CNN. 

  9. DAN
    January 21st, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    Nothing can really help Santorum.  He lacked national stature from the get go.   That hurt.

    That hurt big time.

  10. Anonymous
    January 21st, 2012 @ 8:26 pm

    I really dont mean to say this but right now as i look at it, could Santorum be the republican version of john edwards in 2008 ( w/out the whole scandal thing of course). The way im looking at this is that yes rick won iowa just recently but by an extremely slim margin that took several weeks to count, then he came in fourth in nh now third in sc, is that the extent of his support? Will he get out of there and come in 2nd in any other state or downright win at least one? His momentum is fading slowly unless he finds a way to encourage republicans that he can really beat obama and vote rick as their number 1 choice.

  11. Anonymous
    January 21st, 2012 @ 8:53 pm
  12. DAN
    January 21st, 2012 @ 8:53 pm

    Good God!

    I didn’t know whether I was watching the concession speech of Rick Santorum or Peg Luksik!

    Talk about wearisome!

    The guy actually referred to his book, which is fixated on abortion, illegitimacy and pathological sexuality.

    The guy has a one-track mind.

    Who here could put up with that, uninterruptedly, for the next five years!  He’d drive us all nuts!

  13. Adjoran
    January 21st, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    Gingrich cannot win the general.  He’s been 20+% underwater on negative perception since the government shutdown in 1995.  I am unaware of any public figure since they began polling for it who has been so hated for so long.

    Independents won’t vote for him, and Obama will not debate him more than once, if that.  The idea he’s going to mop up the floor with Obama is idiotic.  The same media who lets him go nuts in Republican debates will bring the hammer down in the general election ONE.  He won’t get away with attacking the media, he WILL answer the question he is asked.

  14. South Carolina Primary Results – Gingrich Wins | The Lonely Conservative
    January 21st, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    […] on through the Florida primary on January 31. He just spoke and said it’s a wide open race. The Other McCain has more from the Santorum HQ.Here’s a little on the exit polls from CBS News.Sixty-four […]

  15. Garym
    January 21st, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

    Any which way you look at it, thats a serious but kicking by Gingrich.
    19 of the 25 delegates.

  16. ThePaganTemple
    January 21st, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

    “He WILL answer the question he is asked” or what? Do you even have the slightest clue how damn well hated the media is? No, if he pisses them off he will act just like he’s been acting, and the American people will love him for it, just like they do now.

    And clue number two, nobody really gives a fucking rats ass about that god damn government shutdown that’s more media and elitist spin. I keep racking my brains trying to figure out how exactly that shit affected me, and I can’t come up with a damn thing, and I bet neither can you or anybody else.

  17. Anonymous
    January 21st, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

    “He’s been 20+% underwater on negative perception since the government shutdown in 1995. ”

    Yup. That was what made me give up for good on the Republican Party.

    If Newt had said “you’re goddamn right we shut it down, and shut down it shall stay until we get what we want,” I’d probably still be voting Republican today.

    Instead, he let himself get fooled into a whining contest with Clinton, and nobody wins a whining contest with a Clinton.

    From what I can tell, though, he learned his lesson on that one.

  18. Anonymous
    January 21st, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

     You implied a couple days ago I was a conspiracy nut for thinking mitt Romney was being propped up as a candidate.  What do you think now/  Romney is a candidate who has won only one primary in Massachusetts’ neighboring state of New Hampshire.  He has fumbled around on his tax returns issue to the point people think he is hiding something.  Newt gingrich’s win in South Carolina demonstrates his trouble in carrying the south definitely and the Heartland probably.  Jeb Bush has now declined to endorse anyone before the florida primary when it was presumed he would eagerly give Romney the nod.  

    All this when just a few days ago there was talk of Romney sewing the nomination up before Florida.  Karl Rove and britt hume were talking about how the weather was going to help Romney win today, for crying out loud!  They both looked heartbroken at the actual results.  All the while, Romney gets a free pass from left-leaning media.  

    Please tell me again why you do not believe the weaker than anyone lets on Romney is not being propped up as a candidate?     

  19. Jayden
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

    I would have been fine with Santorum, Romney, Perry, Pawlenty but I simply cannot abide a repugnant man like Newt.  Not that my vote matters since he would lose a landslide anyway, but I’ll be checking a 3rd Party box.  I can deal with moderate Republicans but I can’t deal with corrupt Republicans.

    This idea that Newt is going to whip Obama is pure fantasy, it would be Obama’s dream to go up against a jackass like Newt.  After Newt got red in the face screaming at a debate moderator the voters that decide elections would come to the logical conclusion this man has no business being leader of the free world.

  20. ThePaganTemple
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

    At least nineteen of the 25 delegates.

  21. ThePaganTemple
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

    He didn’t imply it, he came right out and said it bluntly. I remember something about a tin-foil hat. You’ve got to ignore Adjoran when he defends Romney, especially when he goes that extra mile and denies the existence of the Republican establishment.

    Think of that little boy hiding under a blanket in the middle of a large room thinking nobody can see him and you’ll get the general idea.

  22. Newt Wins Big in SC – Krauthammer Eats Crow « Nice Deb
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

    […] RS McCain on the question on some of our minds – how does this effect Santorum? Some of the polls right before the had him in 4th place, but he finished 3rd: Gingrich ……….. 41% Romney ………… 26% Santorum ………. 18% Paul ……………… 13% […]

  23. Anonymous
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:15 pm
  24. Mike Rogers
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

    I would like to think that Republicans and Gingrich took away the opposite lesson from the 1995 shutdown (The Gingrinch who stole Christmas) than the liberal media.
    Unfortunately the signs for the GOP establishment are not good, hence they have lost every showdown they initiated with Obama over spending.
    I think that Gingrich has learned the lesson, and knows that you have to take the fight to the enemy, and after you’ve crushed the media, to the Democrats.

  25. Anonymous
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

    Thanks for the advice.  I will  tuck it away for future reference.

  26. ThePaganTemple
    January 21st, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

    You would have been fine with Pawlenty? And you’re still up this late at night?

  27. Jayden
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 12:06 am

    Pawlenty had a better record than anyone still in contention, and he came from a Blue State where he won reelection. 

    Loud volume does not a conservative make.

  28. Finrod Felagund
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 12:20 am

    Yeah, and his active base of supporters would have fit into your living room.

    If you can’t inspire people to your campaign at all, your chances of inspiring the public to vote for you in an election is nil.

  29. Mike Rogers
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 12:37 am

    Fox switched on the “Newt Wins” banner immediately at 7pm.
    I believe that their exit polling showed a big enough gap for the, to make a positive prediction.

  30. Anonymous
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 6:31 am

    Considering how many people (yourself included, as I recall) were slamming Boehner for NOT shutting down the government over fiscal principle, that may not be the factor you assume.

    Let him get away with it? How will they stop him? And he’ll answer as he pleases. If they silence him, they just confirm the tyranny.

  31. ThePaganTemple
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 6:50 am

    Pawlenty was a petulant little prick. If he had somehow managed to be nominated Obama would have beat his ass worse than he would beat Ron Paul.

  32. Memo From the National Affairs Desk: Somewhere, There Is an Island … : The Other McCain
    January 22nd, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

    […] 22: What Does This Sentence Mean?Jan. 21: SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY RESULTS: Newt Gingrich Stops Mitt Romney’s ‘Inevitability’; Rick Santor…Jan. 21: South Carolina Primary Day: Before My Saturday Afternoon Nap in CharlestonJan. 21: Iowa […]