Gingrich wins South Carolina primary in US
It's game on in the Republican party with Newt Gingirch sweeping the South Carolina primary on Saturday. There are no clear favourites anymore. It's anybody's race.world Updated: Jan 23, 2012 00:24 IST
It's game on in the Republican party with Newt Gingirch sweeping the South Carolina primary on Saturday. There are no clear favourites anymore. It's anybody's race.
Mitt Romney, the frontrunner so far, was distant second, the second setback of the week, as Iowa, which he had earlier won, was on final count granted to Rick Santorum.
"Three states, three winners," Santorum said in his concession speech, relishing the flattening of the top - he has as much a chance as anyone else. There are no frontrunners now.
The three primaries held so far had three different winners: Santorum in Iowa, Romney in New Hampshire and Gingrich now in South Carolina.
Saturday night, however, was for Gingrich to relish - the comeback kid of the Republican race, winning in South Carolina after finishing poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire. The former speaker nearly had a poor showing in South Carolina too, with his second wife Marianne Gingrich alleging he had wanted her permission to carry on an affair.
A character attack that could have been damaging just days before the primary, but Gingrich weathered it, winning handsomely in a state known to pick the eventual winner.
Gingrich the winner?
Analysts ruled out possibility saying he is not trusted by the Republican establishment, which will now rally around completely behind Romney, or even Santorum.
That's Santorum's hope, too. Gingrich's victory, he said, was the best possible outcome for him in South Carolina. Here is what he didn't say: that brings down Romney a peg or two.
And, more importantly, the party's elite doesn't connect with Gingrich and the party's core finds Romney not conservative enough - that leaves Santorum shinning bright.
Howsoever the race moves from here, it is bound to be nasty, and hard-fought. Romney, who for one had hesitated to go on the offensive signaled amply that the gloves are no off. It's going to be a hard fought campaign," said Romney after the South Carolina results. Romney's aides also expect to see him aggressive.