The Republican primary election now sees three different winners in three different states as pro-life former Speaker Newt Gingrich captured an overwhelming victory Saturday night in South Carolina.
Returns from 95 percent of the state’s precincts showed Gingrich with 41 percent of the vote to 27 percent for Romney. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum came in third with 17 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul came in fourth with 13 percent.
Mitt Romney held a strong lead in the state following his New Hampshire win and Rick Santorum received a boost after he narrowly won the Iowa caucus, but Gingrich benefited from two strong debate performances in the days leading up to the South Carolina vote.
Exit polls showed Gingrich led among voters who said their top priority was picking a candidate who could beat Obama even though that had been Romney’s strength in previous contests.
Romney told his supporters after the vote that he would battle with Gingrich in every state to win the nomination and criticized his opponents attacks on his business record.
“When my opponents attack success and free enterprise, they’re not only attacking me, they’re attacking every person who dreams of a better future. He’s attacking you,” he said.
South Carolina is an important state because, since Ronald Reagan in 1980, every Republican contender who won the primary has gone on to capture the party’s nomination.
Exit polling showed the debates mattered. Sixty-four percent said the debates were an important factor for them; just 34 percent said they were not. Gingrich won standing ovations in both debates while Romney often struggled – and at one point received a smattering of boos for equivocating over how many years of his tax returns he would release.
Gingrich, who polls suggest overtook Romney in the final days before today’s primary, is hoping for a victory that would keep Romney from locking up the nomination before the end of the month. A majority of voters – 53 percent – said they made up their mind about who to back within the last few days.
All in all, the Republican candidates are campaigning as pro-life advocates and would be monumentally better than pro-abortion President Barack Obama. No matter which GOP hopeful you support, they all would very likely implement a host of pro-life policies, appoint pro-life people to key administrative and court positions, and give unborn children the hope they don’t enjoy currently when it comes to any chance of gaining legal protection from abortion.
Throughout this campaign, LifeNews has endeavored to report fairly, accurately, and thoroughly on all of the pro-life candidates for president and we will continue to do so. We have not endorsed or opposed any particular candidate but urge the pro-life community to unite together to defeat Obama in November.