January 21, 2012 |
Newt Gingrich surged to victory Saturday in the South Carolina primary, riding a pair of strong debate performances to overtake Mitt Romney and stop his seemingly relentless march to the GOP nomination. Television networks called the race for the former House speaker almost immediately after the polls closed, a repeat of what happened 11 days ago in New Hampshire, but with a much different result. Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney appeared headed for second place, with former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas trailing well behind.