By Veronica Roberts
Saturday January 21, 2012
UPDATE 1.21.12 7:30 P.M. EST
This just in from CNN:declared the winner in South Carolina Primary and Mitt Romney projected to take second place. and battle for 3rd though all the votes aren't in at this time. The numbers show Gingrich with 37 percent pulling in 12,136 of the votes, Romney at 32 percent with 10,390 votes, Santorum at 15 percent with 3,107 votes and Ron Paul at 12 percent with 3,644.
Speaking to CNN political correspondent Dana Bash at his camp, Santorum said he didn't get the bump from Iowa that he deserved as the official winner, adding though Gingrich did well in South Carolina, there were still lots more ground to cover. He said he is looking ahead and plans to hit Florida and the other States running.
Check back for continuing updates.
Scroll down for my earlier report.
Charleston, SC]----The race is on in Saturday's South Carolina Primary: who is surging ahead and who's lagging? Any surprises so far?
According to a CNN poll, Newt Gingrich is surging full steam-ahead at the moment. Apparently South Carolina voters loved his self-righteous outrage at a question about a claim one of his ex-wives made during an ABC expose.
Loudly and angrily calling it "despicable", while also railing at "The Liberal bias media," was classic Gingrich theatrics at Thursday's GOP debate and as a career politician, he knows exactly how to play the game. By the current 'surges' we know it worked in his favor.
Poor Romney is still struggling to get comfortable in his skin and his obvious awkwardness at connecting with the masses is terribly self-defeating. He was hammered about not revealing his tax returns by Gingrich during the debate and his fumbling responses didn't help. His vast wealth, Bain Capital past, alleged penchant for dispensing pink-slips, tax returns issues and off-shore accounts played up by his opponents and the media--all seem to have converged to make him look even more skittish.
Voters are picking up on his flight or fight vibes and this is definitely hindering his progress. Rick Santorum however, is the one who may surprise us all. His analogy of the three bears used on Friday while addressing his supporters in SC, sums up the man and the campaign he has run thus far. Slow, steady solid and a man of the people who is blue-collar enough to 'get it.'
Using the children's storybook tale, he said, "one is too hot and volatile, the other is too cold and one is just right," You know who he thinks is too hot and volatile and who is too cold, he implied it at Friday's debate. Santorum got a resounding round of applause for this little folksy unique aside, showing he and his supporters think he is the candidate who is "just right."
Ron Paul's passionate supporters are constantly on the march for their guy and though he didn't shine at the last debate, do not underestimate his effect. He showed what he could do in the past by surging from the back of the pack to the first, second and third positions in several polls and in the New Hampshire Primary.
The latest tabulation from Public Policy Polling, has Gingrich in a wide lead with 36.8 percent followed by Romney with 27, Ron Paul with 15.6 and Santorum with 13.1. But the day is young so let's see how it plays out in the fight for the South. We see the historic turn of events in the Iowa Caucuses, where Santorum is now the declared official winner over Romney, showing these things are becoming downright unpredictable.
Bearing that in mind, who do you think will end up the victor in South Carolina?