In an interview with NBC's Chuck Todd, Newt Gingrich declared Wednesday that he would win South Carolina despite, as he predicted, finishing in "third or fourth" place in Iowa and suffering defeat in New Hampshire. The ex-House speaker said a win in the Palmetto State is most important anyway because, as he pointed out, the state's victor has always gone on to eventually win the GOP nomination.
Gingrich is correct -- in an open primary, every Republican nominee since 1980 won South Carolina. But his version of history leaves out a crucial fact: The winner in South Carolina had also already won either Iowa or New Hampshire (the state, in fact, has always served a sort of tie-breaker between the two winners). And by his own admission, Gingrich doesn't expect to win either of the primary's first two contests.