As Gingrich takes South Carolina, Romney wins southern Beaufort County, but not northern

Northern Beaufort County went heavily for Newt Gingrich.

While Mitt Romney managed to pull off a win with Beaufort County voters in Saturday's Republican primary, it didn't stop Newt Gingrich from winning by a landslide — and it didn't stop Gingrich from winning more votes north of the Broad River.

Gingrich took 40.4% of the 601,166 votes cast in South Carolina, and Romney took 27.8%.

Coming in third, Rick Santorum was at 17%, then Ron Paul at 13%, and the Herman Cain-John Colbert bid with 1.05%, or 6,324 votes.

Gingrich won by the largest margins in the Upstate, Aiken, and Myrtle Beach areas. He also dominated across the board in exit polling on topics ranging from limiting abortions, religious beliefs, and the economy.

For detailed state-wide and county level results, head over to SCVotes, and The New York Times has an excellent graphics page with a county-level map and detailed demographic data. The Times also has a robust written report.


However, the above may all be old news to you, let's look at Beaufort County specifically. 

Mitt Romney inverted the statewide results, winning 43% to 35.3% for Gingrich, 12.7% for Santorum, and 6.9% for Paul.

As you can tell from the map above, the concentration of Romney votes was more intensive south of the Broad River where a total of 17,484 votes were cast. North of the Broad, 7,931 votes were cast.

Here's how the voting compared South of the Broad to North:

  Southern Northern
Herman Cain 1.1% 1.5%
Newt Gingrich 34.0% 40.0%
Ron Paul 5.8% 9.7%
Mitt Romney 45.7% 35.2%
Rick Santorum 12.8% 13.0%

In a nutshell, northern Beaufort County voted far more inline with overall South Carolina, while the southern side voted more heavily for Mitt Romney. Combined with more votes, it was enough to pull Beaufort County decisively for Romney.

The South Carolina portion of the primary storm has now mercifully passed, and now descends on Florida for a January 31 primary.