22 January 2012

January 21, 2012: SC GOP Primary results live-blogging!!

This is my first live blogging of a race in 2012!!!

6:20 EDT: In 2008, 445,677 votes were cast in the SC GOP primary. Both Donna Brazil and Alex Costellano at CNN incorrectly stated the number as 450,000 and 455,000, respectively. 

James Carville also incorrected referred to Obama's 2008 margin as "8 and a half points". That is incorrect. Obama won by +7.26%, not +8.50%

Exit polling is showing that 64% of those who voted are evangelical Christians and 66% of those who voted are Tea Party members. Neither of these numbers is surprising - we were expecting this on the GOP side.


6:45 PM: Jessica Yellin on CNN is stating that the Obama team thinks that the longer the GOP primary, the better for the Democrats. Duh! The more energy, time and money the Republicans must expend to cannabilize each other, the more the President can concentrate on fundraising and gathering material against the eventual GOP nominee.

The CNN team is now discussing that GOP operatives are scared that with Newt at the top of the GOP ticket, the GOP will lose the House of Representatives.

Gergen is noting that many South Carolinans have only have had two weeks of extensive exposure to Newt, but Washington insiders have known him for years, which is why the Washington insiders are leery of Newt.


6:55: CNN just did a crazy two minute advertisement for itself over what a gladiator type of thing the SC race is. Really, am I watching an election or WWF??

7:00 PM: CNN cannot project a winner yet.


Gingrich 38
Romney 29
Santorum 17
Paul 15

If these exit poll results hold, then that will mean that PPP nailed the race in SC.


7:03: James Carville is saluting Newt Gingrich for coming back from the dead once again. Ari Fleisher salutes him as well. Castellanos: if Newt wins by double-digits, then calls will be out to Jindal and Jeb Bush talking about them entering the race.


Brazil: DEMS have other rules. Castellanos: Only Rebublicans have rules. Brazil: No, the difference is, the DEMS follow their rules.

The internals of the exit polling show Gingrich leading in all categories over Romney, except over the super rich.

In SC, Southern Conservatives think that Newt is a stronger candidate against Obama, 48% to 39% over Romney.

The CNN panel is discussing what could happen in Florida if this psychology, as they termed it, transfers over from South Carolina, i.e., if Florida Republicans also start thinking that Gingrich is the more competitive candidate against Obama.

Gergen: Gingrich is an Alpha-Male, he went in and took it away from Romney.

Borger: Why did Romney handle the tax thing the way he did?

7:12 EDT, more about Exit Polls:


Gingrich 41
Romney 27


Gingrich 36
Romney 30


"Are the candidates religous beliefs extremely important to you?"
Gingrich 43
Romney 9

"Are the candidates religious beliefs somewhat important to you"?
Gingrich 45
Romney 29

"Do the candidates religious beliefs mean nothing to you"?
Romney 42
Gingrich 29


7:18 Castellano goes there and invokes GOLDWATER. Wow.


7:31 CNN calls the race for Newt Gingrich


7:45 CNN panel is talking about the importance of the upcoming contests in FL and OH and implying that if Newt wins in FL, most likely the GOP upper-ups will try to draft yet another candidate before it is too late.



7:52 Santorum thinks this will be a long race and he thinks that is good, for it will hone the eventual GOP candidate. Jessica Yellin asks Santorum why he didn't pick-up more evangelical voters.

Jessica says that the GOP upper-ups are freaking out over the possibility of a Newt nomination...



8:00 Romney is speaking. Crowd is cheering: "You should hear them when we win"



8:15 the CNN team characterizes Romney's concession / attack Obama speech as weak and lacking in fire in the belly.


8:18 Ron Paul states that he is staying in the race - and that he is just getting started.

8:20 Ron Paul claims that it looks like he is going to get between 4-5 times more votes in SC than in 2008. Paul got 16,555 votes (3.62%) in 2008, he is currently at 14,090 votes (12.8%)

His supporters, the most voiciferous that I have heard, are screaming "END THE FED, END THE FED!!!"

8:29 Ron Paul is railing against the Patriot Act.


8:39 Carville nails it: Ron Paul can be the Kingmaker at the convention (just as I have been predicting)

8:40 Santorum speaks. Santorum congratulates Gingrich. He talks about his counter-book to Hilary Clinton's book "It takes a Village" with his "It takes a Family".

Santorum is talking about "radical Jihadists".

"We're goin' to Florida, Arizona, Colorado...." - if Newt was hoping for Santorum to drop out, I think those hopes just died.

"WE have to be the party that speaks to everyone" (except gays and hispanics, of course)

Santorum thanks a voter for getting a "muzzle loader" as a gift.


8:50 : looking at the county map of SC, Romney has only won 2 counties, and just barely, and not all the results are in. It is very possible that Gingrich will win every county in SC, which means that he will get ALL of SC's delegates.


8:58 Paul is indicating that he will essentially skip Florida and concentrate on the Caucus states (in the West, mostly). Says he wants to be frugal with his donor's money.

9:00 Gergen asks Paul how many delegates he needs to get in order to have a hand in steering the convention in the Fall.



9:12 Carville says he has heard that Jeb Bush is not going to endorse yet.

9:13 Castellano: "Romney is an incementalist" - Republicans want a big thinker.

9:14 Carville: Conservatives don't like Romney because he is not one of them. He doesn't "smell" like one of them. Romney is not good on his feet. We are never gonna hear a senior strategist say "We are gonna let Mitt be Mitt."


9:30 Newt victory speech ----- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

Homage to Reagan.... praise of the other candidates.

"We don't want to run a Republican campaign. We want to run an American campaign". Uhuh...

"This is the most important election of our lifetime" -- "Just think how radical he (Obama) would be in a 2nd term"... uhuh...

"If I do become your nominee, and I think with your help, I will become your nominee, then I will challenge President Obama to 7 three-hour debates. I have already conceded that he can use a teleprompter...." uhuh...

"American Exceptionalism vs. the radicalism of Saul Alinsky". Uhuh...

"Growing anti-religious bigotry...." uhuh...

"Obama - the most effective food-stamp president in history"

Newt is just making promises right and left. I think he is the Messiah.

Uh-oh: American Energy Policy. So that no American President bows to a Saudi King. Uhuh...

Well, enough live blogging for now. Newt Gingrich will get creamed by the President, so let him bloviate, bloviate, bloviate.... every time he opens his mouth, another independent voters recoils...


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