Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary on Saturday in a stunning comeback for the former House speaker who lost the first two contests for the Republican presidential nomination, according to Fox News and MSNBC.
Powerful debate performances and stumbles by Mitt Romney, along with help from an allied super PAC that spent millions in South Carolina, propelled Gingrich from a double-digit deficit to his first victory. He even managed to weather his second ex-wife’s allegation that he asked for an open marriage sohe could keep the six-year mistress who is now his wife.
(GRAPHIC: Results from South Carolina)
It was Gingrich’s second comeback of the primary season. His staff and advisers quit last June after he took a Greek cruise with his wife instead of focusing on the campaign. But he climbed back into contention in Iowa until an assault by a pro-Romney super PAC crushed his chances there.
Gingrich still faces major challenges in overtaking Romney, who is well-organized and well-financed across the country, including in the next primary state of Florida.