Sunday, January 22, 2012

South Carolina Saturday Night After-Party: What Happened?

Newt pulled the upset, and the exit polling shows him with strength among conservatives, those concerned with electability, and women. Of course, that last demographic will get the most talk in light of Newt's affection for more than one partner at a time, but I guess the desire to defeat President Obama outweighs all other desires combined. It was a solid win, and by an even larger margin than I thought. The results:

              Prediction          Actual              
Gingrich        36%               40%
Romney        34%               28%
Paul              15%               13%
Santorum      14%               17%

Obviously I missed out on Santorum and the margin, but Gingrich did what he needed to do. The debate performances and his robust conservatism won in a very conservative state. Now he can go on to Florida and see if he can win over the conservatives there. My guess is that he can. And if he wins Florida, then Romney's stock will have taken a Great Recession-type hit.

Santorum says he won't quit the race at this point. He gave it his all, but is clearly not the conservative voter's choice and he would only make it easier for Romney in the Sunshine State. Paul has his reliable 15%, but is now more marginalized than ever.

At this point, all of the candidates have been vetted. What's left will be an expensive, potentially nasty fight, although Mitt has to be careful because he was seen as running the most unfair race in South Carolina. I'm not sure what unfair means, but maybe Newt's charge against negative ads has something to do with it.

On to Florida, where voters have already been casting ballots. I imagine that after yesterday, Newt will see a surge of support.

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  1. Looks like the Republican Café menu consists of one thing:

  2. Just read the "most unfair race" article you cite...makes total sense to me:

    "Asked which quality is the most important in a candidate, 45 percent said the ability to defeat Barack Obama in the general election, while 21 percent cited right experience and 17 percent chose strong character."

    The Party of Family Values™ ranks strong character 3rd. I wonder what they'd do if The Almighty guaranteed that Chavez or Castro (or Pelosi or Hillary) would defeat Obama? Would that be enough??