POLITICS

Newt Gingrich Wins: South Carolina Primary Results 2012

01/21/2012 07:01 pm ET | Updated Feb 26, 2012

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was projected the winner of South Carolina's primary election on Saturday by MSNBC.

Going into the contest, the presidential contender was riding a wave of momentum and surged ahead of rival candidate Mitt Romney in the polls.

"Thank you South Carolina!" Gingrich wrote on Twitter. "Help me deliver the knockout punch in Florida."

Romney was projected to finish in second place on Saturday night. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum was projected to finish in third with U.S. Ron Paul in fourth.

Romney scored a win in New Hampshire's primary election earlier this month. After the initial results came in following the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus, the former Massachusetts governor was believed to have won the Hawkeye State event by 8 votes. More than two weeks later; however, the final certified tally showed Santorum finishing in first place.

Curtis Loftis, chair of Romney's South Carolina campaign, told ABC News, "We never thought it was going to be three and out" and added, "We always thought it was going to be a long haul."

Gingrich placed fourth in both New Hampshire and Iowa.

"Everybody in Washington and the establishment overvalues money undervalues people and ideas," Gingrich said on Fox Business Network on Saturday night. "The fact is we have a very real chance on an idea basis as conservatives to offer a better future for the American people. We have an ability to reach out to lots of people and communicate with them without millions of dollars of paid advertising. We are going to Florida with a set of big ideas."

Check out the live blog below for the latest developments out of South Carolina.

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