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.