Talk about your mixed messages being sent.
Former Congressman, Speaker of the House and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich won the female vote in South Carolina, according to exit polls and despite reports to the contrary, just the day before, of a significant gender gap that should have helped former Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney, if it really existed — which it appears it did not.
And why not? Shouldn’t Romney had had the women in his column? I wasn’t the only one thinking it.
For one thing, former first lady of South Carolina, Jenny Sanford, who knows a few things about politicians who cheat on their wives with mistresses with whom they get together after a divorce, spoke out very pointedly against Gingrich’s character just before the primary on MSNBC’s Hardball. How could that not have carried some weight with conservative female voters in South Carolina?
Then, the governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley — endorsed and supported in her 2010 race by both Jenny Sanford and Sarah Palin — in turn endorsed Romney over a month ago. Note though that one of the most popular S.C. blogs indicates that Haley’s approval might have been more of a hindrance than a help.
As for Palin, she and the former first dude, Todd Palin, have indicated — directly or indirectly — support for Gingrich recently. So women who watch women are getting a decidedly mixed message.
Personally, I don’t get it either in regard to the women, but I’d like to see the gender breakdown, if we can, in that voter turnout: Who exactly turned out within the record numbers? Could be grasping at straws, at but maybe BlogHer Red Dirt Kelly was on to something when she wrote, “Mitt Romney’s Debate Conduct Makes Me Feel Icky.” I feel that way when I hear Gingrich, but I don’t really count in these things since I’m totally not the audience the conservatives are trying to attract.
You can read my full wrap-up post here with a lot of other links of interest here.