A week ago, Gingrich’s big win would have been almost impossible to predict. While still a major upset, some of the shock of the win was effectively dampened by the numerous polls showing that it would happen. Personally, I was a little surprised at the breadth of the victory. Gingrich took almost ever demographic in the exit polls and showed a broad-based support that bodes for a long, drawn-out election season.
As usual, here’s my thoughts written out by candidate.
What a difference a few weeks make. Despite picking up the belated Iowa victory and some strong debates (although I still want to slap him every time he shakes his head), Santorum’s numbers didn’t show all that well in South Carolina. However, with the first three states now being split between three different candidates, the justification to go on is definitely there. Personally, I hope he does if only to help split the vote from Gingrich. Remember, at this point, I’m on the “anyone but Newt” bandwagon.
I was surprised at his low showing. Granted South Carolina was pretty much guaranteed to be a poor state for Paul, but I had thought he would challenge Santorum for third. With a Third, Second, and Fourth place showing in the first three contests, Paul is certainly capable of continuing his run, and I hope he does as well if only because he is an interesting counter point to everyone else.
I will only hope for Paul to drop if it becomes apparent that his candidacy is pushing Romney out in favor of Gingrich.
Barf… The mere thought of electing such a moral vacuum makes me feel ill.
While his win is certainly something to hang his hat on, it is not the nomination. It is one state. I think Gingrich will put Santorum away with this win (unfortunately), and the race will settle down to Gingrich vs Romney, with Paul. I expect Gingrich to continue to do well across much of the south with Romney staying close enough to nip his heels. In the north and west, I expect Romney to win with Gingrich nipping at his heels. What does that all mean? Long. It means a really long primary season, which plays well for the Democrats (and the Republicans as well potentially). At the end of the day, however, I still expect the nomination will go to…
South Carolina is a downer, no doubt about it. But it is not the nail in the coffin like it was in 2008. I always laugh when someone pulls out the fact that South Carolina has always picked the eventual nominee since 1980. So over the last 32 years…. And what about the 150+ years over the life of the Republican party? Trends do not make facts.
This little trend has a good chance of dying in 2012 as well simply because of the uniqueness of this election and the volatility of the campaigns. Newt has been declared dead twice and is still in it. Romney has been declared inevitable more times than I can count and yet here we are. To think that the election ended at South Carolina is a grave mistake, especially given that Romney is polling quite well in Florida. If Romney pulls Florida with a good margin of victory, we’re right back where we started with Romney once again being “inevitable” and Gingrich being “dead.” Now if Gingrich wins…. We’ll see what happens.
Two little side notes…
- I’ve never donated to a campaign before, but I’ve already been on the Romney donation site half-a-dozen times in the last week. I haven’t clicked Donate yet, but the itch is there. I dislike Gingrich enough that I’d gladly donate to that cause. I guess I’m waiting through Florida to make sure that South Carolina is a fluke and not a sign of things to come.
- I’m searching for alternatives should Gingrich win the nomination. I’ve long believed that my vote isn’t necessarily important in who wins the presidency but rather as a chance to let my voice be heard. Win or lose, I relish the opportunity to make a statement about my beliefs and opinions regarding this country. Should Gingrich win the nomination, you can be sure that my search for my ideal candidate will expand to any number of third parties and even include [choke] Obama… [gasp]
Last notes… The week ahead is exciting! GOP debates on Monday and Thursday, and my MOST favorite political event of the year… State of the Union Address plus all the rebuttals. As I do each year, I’ll be reviewing each speech from the major parties and even a few of the lesser parties. Something to look forward to.