First Read – Gingrich wins SC GOP primary, beating Romney
More broadly, core elements of the GOP base in South Carolina – conservatives, Tea Party supporters and evangelical Christians – broke for Gingrich. And the former speaker even edged Romney in two important constituencies for the former Massachusetts governor: voters who said electability in November was their most important concern in a nominee, and voters who said the economy was their top issue.
Gingrich had erased Romney’s lead by abandoning his previous pledge to wage a “relentlessly positive” campaign. The former speaker eventually embraced a strategy of drawing strong contrasts with Romney and benefited from the negative advertising run on his behalf by a super PAC – a practice Gingrich loudly denounced in Iowa, where he saw his poll numbers collapse amid attacks by a pro-Romney super PAC.