12:15 AM, Jan 22, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
One South Carolina factoid I haven't seen commented on elsewhere: Rick Santorum ran closer to Mitt Romney than Romney did to Newt Gingrich. Romney and Gingrich are the front-runners, but any of the three could be the nominee.
Or it could be someone not yet in the race.
11:56 PM, Jan 21, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
It’s just past 7 p.m., only minutes after the polls closed, and the networks have already called this state’s primary for Newt Gingrich. The mood is jubilant in the Palmetto State ballroom at the downtown Hilton. Behind the stage a campaign sign has been raised with a new message: “Unleash the American People to Rebuild the America We Love.” Groups of supporters gather nearby to chant for the news cameras.
11:00 PM, Jan 21, 2012 • By FRED BARNES
Mitt Romney needs a big idea. And it’s not the one he cited at the beginning of his speech after his humiliating loss to Newt Gingrich in the South Carolina primary Saturday. Executive experience matters, Romney said. He has it and Gingrich, like President Obama, doesn’t.
7:01 PM, Jan 21, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
As the polls close in South Carolina tonight, NBC News is able to project that Newt Gingrich will be the winner of the Republican primary in the first Southern state to vote.
UPDATE: CNN reports: "Exit polls show Newt Gingrich leading Mitt Romney, 38% to 29% among voters who spoke with network exit poll interviewers."
UPDATE II: Fox and ABC have also called South Carolina for Newt. (Clarification: CNN has not yet called the race, but has released the exit poll numbers.)
Thursday night's debate may have served to highlight two of Mitt's vulnerabilities.12:38 AM, Jan 20, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
It's notoriously hard to judge the political consequences of candidate debates. The media and political elites tend to opine as either drama critics judging performance art or as professors judging intellectual arguments. Doing well on one or another of these criteria can matter for a candidate. But usually not much.
12:32 AM, Jan 20, 2012 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
North Charleston, S.C.
The debate here began with the most salacious news of the day: the claim by Marianne Gingrich that her ex-husband wanted an open marriage. And, in a sense, it ended there, too.
11:40 PM, Jan 19, 2012 • By FRED BARNES
In a pinch, Newt Gingrich resorts to his specialty: attacking the media. He did it again Thursday night in the Republican presidential debate in North Charleston, South Carolina. And the audience responded enthusiastically to his angry denunciation of CNN moderator John King for making his former wife’s charge that he wanted an “open” marriage the first issue in the debate.
Draft of Mitch Daniels’s Response to State of the Union!?1:19 PM, Jan 19, 2012 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
This morning, the Republican leadership on the Hill announced that Indiana governor Mitch Daniels would deliver the GOP response Tuesday night to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
8:01 AM, Jan 19, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
An Insider Advantage poll taken in South Carolina on Wednesday — two days after the most recent Republican presidential debate — shows that Newt Gingrich has erased a double-digit deficit to take the lead over Mitt Romney. Gingrich now has 32 percent support, up 11 percentage points from his tally in the previous Insider Advantage poll, which was taken on Sunday.
12:00 AM, Jan 18, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Three days before the South Carolina Republican primary, the press corps is poised to declare the GOP race over. If Mitt Romney follows up his wins in Iowa and New Hampshire with a win in the South, the media will tell Republicans in the other 47 states that there’s no need for them to cast votes in a democratic fashion, Romney’s coronation being inevitable.
11:47 AM, Jan 17, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Hill reports on the latest ahead of this weekend's primary vote in South Carolina:
A new Monmouth University poll of South Carolina voters shows Republican front-runner Mitt Romney maintaining a double-digit lead over the remainder of the GOP field, further increasing the likelihood of the Massachusetts governor winning the South Carolina primary and Republican nomination.
10:44 AM, Jan 17, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
This morning on C-SPAN, the boss said he thinks it would be good for the Republican party to part ways with Ron Paul. (Watch the video here.)
“A lot of people when they criticize Ron Paul have to preface their criticism by saying, ‘you know, he’s good guy, he brings a lot to the debate,’” Bill Kristol said on C-SPAN. “I actually don’t buy that. I do not think he’s a particular good guy . . . I think it would be better for the Republican party, if he left the Republican party.”