Taking the Fizz Out of Obama's Bubbly
No doubt there were champagne corks popping at the White House when Newt Gingrich was declared the winner of the South Carolina primary on Saturday night. But the state's Republicans also have a sobering message for President Obama: It's not just the economy, stupid. By November, it might be only the economy.
In spite of more personal baggage than a jumbo jet, Gingrich beat endangered front-runner Mitt Romney because most Republicans in South Carolina think he can beat Obama and because the economy outweighed, by far, any other issue on the table, according to exit polls.
Six in 10 primary voters identified the economy as the most important issue to them, and of those, 40 percent voted for Gingrich, more than any other candidate in the four-man contest. Romney got 32 percent of the votes from Republicans who think the economy is the No. 1 issue. Nearly a third of South Carolina's GOP voters said someone in their household has been laid off in the last three years.