In spite of a carefully timed announcement by Newt Gingrich's ex-wife Marianne on an "Open Marriage, Mistress Proposal", Gingrich rallied from a 16 point deficit on January 3 to a stunning 12 percentage point slaughter of Mitt Romney less than three weeks later.
South Carolina Primary Results
The Associated Press announces these South Carolina Primary Results.
This goes to show you that "It ain't over until it's over."
Dog Whistle Politics
The Financial Times reports Victory Horrifies Republican Establishment
Who is the New Torch Bearer of Freedom?Gingrich didn’t just win the primary. He crushed Mr Romney, by more than ten percentage points, and that after the former Massachusetts governor had a lead of similar dimensions over Mr Gingrich just a week before the poll.
At least among Republicans, Mr Gingrich is so battle-scarred that no matter what dirt is thrown at him – even the fact that his ex-wife said he wanted an “open marriage” – it no longer sticks.
Mr Gingrich is also twice the natural politician that Mr Romney is, and was able to tailor his message on the campaign trail in South Carolina to rouse that state’s voters.
Although he denied it, his continuous references to Barack Obama as a “food stamp president” was called out by some commentators as classic dog whistle politics in a state with a long history of racial tension.
Mr Gingrich will be thrilled with his victory. The Republican establishment, however, will be horrified, because its members think he is unelectable and tarnished in a general election.
If Mr Gingrich wins Florida, expect a huge campaign against him, not from the White House, but from within the Republican party itself.