Columbia, S.C. – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich easily won the primary here, pushing Mitt Romney from his perch as the frontrunner and setting up what might be a much longer GOP primary that was expected. Here’s a closer look at the results and what they mean.
1. Strong conservatives favored Gingrich
The former House Speaker sharply attacked the press and Romney over the last week. Polls show he easily won the majority of conservative, Tea Party and evangelical votes, all groups who had been resistant to Romney. The accusation by his ex-wife that Gingrich had asked for an open marriage appeared not to have hurt him that much among female voters, who also favored Gingrich, according to exit polls.
2. Sharp, controversial language helped Gingrich and is likely to employed now by other candidates
Liberals have sharply condemned Gingrich’s claim that President Obama is the “food stamp president,” arguing it is race-baiting as well as being misleading in a time when millions of Americans want to work but can’t find jobs. Gingrich strongly defended this language in a debate on Monday, and in interviews Republicans here said they liked how Gingrich took on Fox’s Juan Williams and people who have collected unemployment benefits for a long time.
At a campaign last week, a town hall audience member asked about how Newt plans to debate with Obama. Here was Newt’s response:
Expect the other candidates to increase their rhetoric against Obama and the media after watching how it helped Gingrich.
Read more at thegrio.com