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Riding the Tiger > Category: Primaries

Riding The Tiger

“I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.” Harry S. Truman

Gingrich Winner of South Carolina Primary

Newt Gingrich and wife Callista

Newt Gingrich at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.  Courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich has won a decisive victory in South Carolina following strong performances in the last two Republican debates. Winning 40% of the vote with 244,113 total votes, Gingrich easily defeated runner-up Mitt Romney, who received 168,152 votes, finishing at 28%. Rick Santorum took third, followed by Ron Paul.

The results in South Carolina should reinvigorate Gingrich’s campaign, which had all but stalled out after disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

This year marks the first time that a different candidate has won each of the first three nominating contests.

Flouting the RNC Rules

Red, White, and Blue Elephant

Photo by Jonathan McIntosh

In 2010, the Republican Party changed the rules that governed the schedules for primaries and caucuses in the 2012 presidential election. The changes included allowing states that award their delegates proportionally in either a primary or caucus to hold their contests in March, but winner-take-all states have to wait until April to hold their contests.

Romney Wins New Hampshire Primary

Mitt Romney on the campaign trail

Mitt Romney in Paradise Valley, AZ in December 2011.  Courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was the decisive winner in yesterday’s Republican primary in New Hampshire, garnering 39% of the vote with 97,532 votes. Congressman Ron Paul was the second place finisher, with 56,848 votes for 23% of the vote. Ambassador Jon Huntsman came in third with 41,945 votes for 17%, followed by Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry.

Romney’s win in the nation’s first political party primary election marks back-to-back wins, putting his campaign on strong footing going into South Carolina’s primary, which is historically key to the GOP presidential nomination. Since 1980, every South Carolina primary winner has gone on to win the Republican Party nomination.