Saturday’s South Carolina primary featured a number of firsts:
3-Way Split: With Rick Santorum having won in Iowa, Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, and Newt Gingrich in South Carolina, this is the first time that those three contests have been won by three different Republican candidates.
The Comeback Kid: Newt Gingrich became the first Republican candidate to lose in Iowa and New Hampshire and then come back to win in South Carolina. On the Democratic side, Bill Clinton did so in 1992, losing in Iowa and New Hampshire and then (after several states were contested in the interim) winning resoundingly in South Carolina on his way to winning the presidency.
The Drop-Off: Mitt Romney became the first Republican candidate to win in New Hampshire and then have his share of support drop more than 7 percentage points between New Hampshire and South Carolina. Romney’s share of the vote dropped 11 points — from 39 percent in the Granite State to 28 percent in the Palmetto State.
40: Newt Gingrich became the first Republican candidate to win 40 percent of the vote in a contested race in Iowa, New Hampshire, or South Carolina since George W. Bush did so in 2000.