Known as "the first in the South", Saturday's South Carolina primary was won by Newt Gingrich. The inevitable candidate, Mitt Romney, came in a distant second, followed by Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.
The new tally of convention delegates is: 31 -Romney,26 -Gingrich,10 -Paul,8 -Santorum.
Inevitable isn't so inevitable anymore.
The speeches after the primary winner was called were interesting. Romney came out first and went negative on the others, mostly Gingrich, and did some attacking of President Obama. Ron Paul went next and did a typical stump speech as he vowed to continue on to the convention. Rick Santorum spoke of his commitment to be the values voter's candidate and said he'd go on, too. Gingrich was last and went the other way. Instead of delivering digs to the other candidates, he focused on attacking Barack Obama.
There is no doubt in my mind that CNN's John King delivered the victory to Gingrich. Romney was ahead in the race up until the last debate where Gingrich delivered a scorching condemnation of King's choice of opening questions. Newt went ahead in the polling after that.
The battle goes to Florida now. Romney is in a comfortable lead, according to the polls there. He may be able to get a victory, as the demographics are different in Florida than in South Carolina. Less Evangelical, more moderate-leaning voters, more transplanted residents from the northeastern states, are just a few of the differences.
This primary will drag out. They all claim they are in it until the convention in Tampa this summer. Time will tell if that will be true. If Santorum can't place well in Florida then his money will surely dry up.