Columbia, S.C. (WACH) - For the past 32 years the winner of South Carolina's first-in-the-South primary has moved on to be the eventual GOP presidential nominee.
However, that track record could be in jeopardy after the results of Super Tuesday.
Newt Gingrich, who won the South Carolina primary in January, has struggled since. The Super Tuesday results show Gingrich lagging behind Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. If Gingrich does not win the 2012 Republican nomination, the South Carolina trend will be broken.
Matt Moore of the South Carolina Republican Party says even if Gingrich doesnâ??t win, votes in the Palmetto State are still important.
â??South Carolina has that nice mix of primary voters. Weâ??re the first state thatâ??s not really that regional type primary. We have a lot of military type retirees here, fiscal conservatives, social conservatives in the Upstate,â?? said Moore. â??Weâ??re not going to change our marketing even if Newt Gingrich is not the nominee.â??
Democrats on the other hand, think the results from Super Tuesday are changing the historic pattern.
â??Well this is an opportunity for Romney to essentially clinch this nomination and to settle all doubts. That didnâ??t happen last (Tuesday) night," said democratic strategist Phil Bailey. "This thing is going to stretch out for a while now and thatâ??s a good thing for democrats."
Romney is the current front runner, however, more than half of the delegates are still up for grabs as several states still need to vote in the process.