After a hectic weekend in South Carolina, the candidates start their campaigning in Florida with another Presidential Debate tonight, hosted by NBC. For a recap of the South Carolina Primary results:
Newt Gingrich: 40.4%, Mitt Romney: 27.8%, Rick Santorum: 17%, Ron Paul: 13%, and Other: 1.4%
What’s more important than these percentages, however, is the actual numbers of delegates distributed in South Carolina. Of the 25 delegates up for grabs, Gingrich won 23, bringing his total number of delegates up to 25, just 8 behind Mitt Romney’s 33. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul did not receive any delegates from the South Carolina Primary and their total number of delegates remains at 14 and 4, respectively. Florida, with its winner-takes-all system, will be a defining moment for one candidate, as the winner will take all 50 delegates, placing them ahead of the pack.
On the campaign trail January 23, 2012 …
Newt Gingrich (Republican): With the motto, “We Pick Presidents,” South Carolina was an important victory for Newt Gingrich. A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows that after his win in South Carolina, the former Speaker of the House surged to 41% support, surpassing Mitt Romney’s 32%. The Washington Post credits Gingrich’s performance in last week’s debates and his recent win in the primary to his soaring numbers.
Barack Obama (Democrat): Back in Washington, President Obama prepares for his State of the Union speech while announcing that he will answer questions in Google+ Hangouts on January 30th, reclaiming his title as “the first social media president.” His presence on Google+ will add to his arsenal of social media weapons, making him a dominant force on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube and Instagram, according to the Los Angeles Times. You can submit your questions and vote on the questions you want to see answered through the White House Youtube channel.
Ron Paul (Republican): Despite his fourth place finish in South Carolina, Ron Paul says his campaign is in good shape and he will continue with his pursuit for the Republican presidency. He will not, however, campaign in Florida because of its size and his lack of resources. Ron Paul announced in his speech after the South Carolina primary on Saturday that, “when you win elections and you win delegates, that’s the way you promote a cause.” Because Florida has a winner-takes-all system for distributing its 50 delegates, Paul will focus on states in the West and North to pursue delegates and promote his cause.
Buddy Roemer (Republican): Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer remains in the GOP race, but has decided to also skip campaigning in Florida. Roemer, who has previously pledged to reject donations over $100, is instead asking voters to donate their Tweets. While his numbers in the polls are low, his social media sites continue to see growth.
Mitt Romney (Republican): After coming in second in South Carolina, the once Republican front-runner Mitt Romney is now polling below Newt Gingrich in Florida, a drop that CNN attributes to his “uncertain handling of the tax return issue.” He announced this weekend that he would, in fact, release his 2010 tax returns “given the distraction that [he] thinks they have become in the last couple of weeks.”
Rick Santorum (Republican): Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is still very much in the race, with a total of 14 delegates. Recent Real Clear Politics polls show him leading Ron Paul in Florida by 1%, with a total of 11% of the likely vote. Despite trailing to Gingrich and Romney in these polls, he believes, “You have three candidates who can be president,” as he reiterates the importance of Florida as a swing state in the general election.
Read it for yourself …
2012 Florida Republican Primary, Rasmussen Reports, January 23, 2012
Newt Gingrich’s rise-in one chart, The Washington Post, Jan. 23, 2012
President Obama to answer questions in Google+ Hangout on Jan. 30, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 23, 2012
Ron Paul plans to skip Florida. Will his strategy backfire? Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 23, 2012
GOP Delegate Tracker, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 23, 2012
Obama, the first social media president, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 18, 2008
Rick Santorum leads Ron Paul in RCP Average of Florida polls, The State Column, Jan. 23, 2012
Rick Santorum turns heat on Newt Gingrich in Florida, Politico, Jan. 22, 2012
Romney rips ‘erratic’ Gingrich, CNN, Jan. 23, 2012
Buddy Roemer Doesn’t Want You Money, He Wants You Tweets, Mediate, Jan. 10, 2012
Photos courtesy of candidate official websites