Gingrich wins South Carolina primary
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By Suproteem Sarkar, Staff Reporter
On Jan. 21, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary with 40.4 percent of the vote and 243,153 votes. All 23 of the state’s pledged delegates will represent Gingrich at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Since Ronald Reagan’s win in 1980, each presidential candidate that has won the South Carolina primary has gone on to win the nomination.
Only four candidates competed after two dropouts last week further narrowed the field of contenders. Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out on Jan. 19 and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman left the race on Jan. 16.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney finished in second place with 167,279 votes and 27.8 percent of the vote, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum took third with 17 percent and 102,055 votes. Texas Rep. Ron Paul placed fourth with 13 percent of the vote and 77,993 votes. After the results were announced, each of the four candidates said he would continue his campaign.
Gingrich now leads the race with 23 delegates, ahead of Romney, who has 19. Santorum is in third place, with 13 delegates, and Paul is in fourth with 3. Since the Iowa caucus is nonbinding, the delegate count uses projections from the Associated Press for pledged delegates from Iowa. It also does not include superdelegates.
Herman Cain, who dropped out of the race on Dec. 3, finished in fifth place with 6,324 votes and 1.1 percent. Cain and comedian Stephen Colbert held a rally on Jan. 20 to encourage residents of South Carolina to vote for Cain. Colbert, who could not put his name on the South Carolina ballot because he had missed the filing deadline, said that Cain shared his beliefs, and any resident who wished to vote for the comedian could vote for Cain.
On Jan. 19, the Republican Party of Iowa announced that Santorum had won the state’s caucus, not Romney, as previous unofficial reports had stated. After Romney’s New Hampshire win and Gingrich’s victory in South Carolina, three different candidates have won the first three primaries.
The next Republican primary in the 2012 race will be held on Jan. 31 in Florida, which is the first primary this year that only Republicans can take part in. All 50 of the state’s delegates will be distributed to the winner of the popular vote.
Suproteem Sarkar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.