Another lesson they’ll never learn

January 23rd, 2012

Seems pretty obvious, too.

There are two ways to win elections. The simplest is to find a way to win the support of the electorate as it exists. But when that’s not possible, a candidate must find a way to change the electorate.

That’s what Gingrich did on Saturday.

If turnout and vote distribution in South Carolina had been consistent with the 2000 and 2008 contests, Gingrich would certainly have fared worse and quite possibly would have lost. Mitt Romney performed well in the wealthier, more moderate counties on the southern seacoast and showed well in the populous counties of the Midlands around the state capital. That coalition was enough for John McCain.

But there were 30,000 more votes cast than in 2000 and 157,000 more than in 2008. And they mostly came in the northern part of the state, in the Appalachian foothills and along the North Carolina border.

To put that in perspective, the total increase in Republican turnout in South Carolina from 2008 was greater than the entire turnout in Iowa this year. While both Iowa and New Hampshire saw only modest increases in Republican participation, South Carolina shattered old records and added a whole extra Iowa’s worth of new voters and gave Gingrich the most votes of any candidate in the state’s history.

That’s more than just Not Romneyism of this cycle.

That’s what happens when you fire up the base, as opposed to demoralizing it by ramming another RINO fraud down their throats. Be sure to read the rest; Stirewalt seems to have it all pretty well figured out.

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