23 January 2012

South Carolina and success

Following Newt Gingrich’s stunning victory in the South Carolina primary much has been made of the state’s penchant for picking primary winners. The Republican winner of the South Carolina primary has, after all, gone on to clinch the Presidential nomination in every election since 1980.

A startling fact and a worrying omen for Mitt Romney. But it overlooks the fact that no candidate in the Republican Party has gone on to become the party flag bearer without winning either Iowa or New Hampshire - Newt won neither - since those two states began kicking off the nominating process in 1976.

Of course Gingrich can take heart from his former adversary President Bill Clinton who failed to clinch either Iowa or New Hampshire but used a commanding South Carolina victory to launch his bid for the Democratic nomination and ultimately the Presidency.