The State's Gina Smith sums it up perfectly today in a GOP primary post-mortem: "Evangelicals, women and GOP voters in three counties are proving SC politics are unpredictable."
She's certainly right about that.
The exit polls (as posted by the Times) in South Carolina are showing what most people weren't expecting: Women and evangelicals in the state didn't really seem to care about Gingrich's marital past or Marianne Gingrich's bomb drop. And maybe South Carolinians didn't care about that whole lobbying/not-lobbying thing either as he had decent support among those who identify as Tea Party Republicans.
But how'd he do it? Wasn't Romney supposed to have the state locked down? If you look back at this State piece from the heady, post-Iowa day of Jan. 6, 2012, Gingrich's name is nowhere to be found in the article. How did Gingrich lock up the female vote in the state?
Smith tells us this:
"And from the early days of the campaign, the Gingrich team worked for the female vote, speaking to many of the state’s Republican women’s group through Gingrich’s wife, Callista, along with his two grown daughters who shot down rumors of Gingrich’s coldness toward his first wife.Gingrich chose a female-owned political consulting firm, Sherlock and Gaines Consulting Group, in Greenville, who worked to lock down the female vote and other key voting blocs."
Does it matter that those same exit polls show us that 44 percent of those that voted for Gingrich in South Carolina decided the day of the primary or the few days before?
Tell us what you think?