Gingrich evens out the score

On Saturday night, millions of Americans waited eagerly for the results of the South Carolina GOP primary.

After votes had been counted, Newt Gingrich, former House speaker, was named the winner.  Mitt Romney finished second, with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul finishing third and fourth, respectively.

This victory marks the first time that a different Republican has won the first three presidential contests, as Santorum won the Iowa caucuses and Romney won the New Hampshire primary.  Gingrich, who finished poorly in the previous contests, won comfortably, beating the current GOP favorite Romney by twelve points.

South Carolina is infamous for extinguishing presidential hopes for those not considered GOP front-runners.  However, Gingrich’s win is interesting, as the candidate who wins South Carolina typically wins the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. As the race heats up, Republicans next look to Florida’s primary on January 31.