Election 2012

Victory for the Southern Strategy

Newt Gingrich won South Carolina. By a lot.

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Newt Gingrich, whose candidacy was left for dead in June and then again earlier this month, scored a stunning victory over Mitt Romney here that has reshaped the Republican presidential primary and called into question Romney's ability to win the nomination.

As soon as the polls closed in South Carolina at 7 p.m., the major TV networks called the race for Gingrich. With over 80 percent of the vote counted, Gingrich was at 40.6 percent to Romney's 26.8 percent, with former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) at 17.4 percent and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) at 13.4 percent, the Associated Press reported.

Lesson: racial dog whistles work with Republicans. Especially southern Republicans.

That's a win for Santorum, a win for Romney and a win for Gingrich. This is going to be a long one, folks. I mean, all the way to the convention.