Gingrich’s home-state advantage paved the way to his victory in Georgia, saving him in a state he called do-or-die – but leaving the question of where he turns next.
While a minority of voters, 36 percent in exit poll results, said Gingrich’s ties mattered at least somewhat in their vote, nearly all of them – 75 percent – voted for him. That produced three-quarters of his winning vote total in the state.
Strongly conservative groups also shaped Gingrich’s win – 38 percent identified themselves as very conservative and 65 percent as born-again Christians, both similar to the levels in next-door South Carolina, which Gingrich won last month. In both these groups, Gingrich commanded about half the vote. Just two in 10, by contrast, backed Mitt Romney, who’s struggled in these groups.
Romney instead was competitive in Georgia only in the groups in which he’s done well all cycle – highly-educated Republican voters, the wealthy and non-evangelicals.