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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

South Carolina Votes

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I will be hosting an election special after the polls close at 7 PM EST on most of my regular stations and many more besides.

If you are away from the radio, you can listen to many of the usual suspects –Barnes and Barone, Benson and Tapscott, Geraghty, MK Ham and many more via any of my many affiliates such as 1260 WRC in DC, 990 WNTP in Philly, 1420 WHK in Cleveland, 710 KNUS in Denver 1280 the Patriot in the Twin Cities, KKNT 960 The Patriot in Phoenix, or 870 KRLA in LA.

One of my affiliates in South Carolina, WJMX 970 in Florence or 660/92.9 in Greenville might be very interesting for the local reports on turnout etc. To learn who is running what on conservative radio in Florida, try Tampa Bay’s 860 WGUL or Orlando’s 660 WORL.

Two late posts underscore how Romney will benefit from a growing worry that a Gingrich nomination would spell doom for the GOP: John Hinderaker’s at Powerline and John Taylor’s at Episconixonian. That spreading sense of panic at the prospect of Newt as GOP standard-bearer because of numbers like these won’t arrive in time to stop Gingrich in the Palmetto State, and Newt supporters like Dan Riehl and Chuck Norris explain why they won’t be deterred from voting Newt.

Rick Santorum had huge crowds at his rallies yesterday, and raised more than a million in 48 hours, with the totals still rising. He may lose some voters today as the Palmetto State’s voters are notoriously late-deciding, but he could also surprise.

The Huffington Post of all places warns against predictions, but when one poll –yes, a left wing outfit PPP– shows a near double-digit Newt lead, it is hard to imagine Newt losing.

Which will mean that Florida will have put itself exactly where it wanted to be –at the crossroads of campaign 2012 on January 31. Its governor Rick Scott hasn’t yet declared an endorsement. Its senator, Marco Rubio, almost certainly won’t (but if he did it would end the discussion.) And former Florida Governor Jeb Bush could push the state in one direction or the other. These three enormous stories within a story will also be played out against the backdrop of the campaign’s first parallel campaign on Spanish language television and radio, and with the added ingredients of early voting and absentees by the hundreds of thousands.

Florida is also the first winner-take-all state, so it really is a true test of general election strength with it being a swing state that the GOP must absolutely win. A Gingrich win tonight will set off an extraordinary reaction because of these numbers, a reaction that will for the first time communicate to fence-sitters that they must decide as opposed to playing it safe. Every senator, congressman, and state legislator and governor has to consider what a Romney or a Gingrich ticket would mean, and act accordingly. It will be a fascinating ten days.

Unless Gingrich underperforms and Santorum surges or Romney wins outright. In which case, disregard everything everyone has written.


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