An ABC News analysis of their exit polling showed a few numbers that were quite clear even before the South Carolina primary vote — many voters were swayed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s performances in the GOP debates and many voters broke at the last minute for Newt, resulting in a huge victory.
But there was also a counterintuitive point as well — Gingrich’s attacks on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s work as the CEO of Bain Capital, derided by many conservatives and pundits as anti-free enterprise, may have worked really well with one group of voters in the primary. From ABC:
The controversy over Romney’s experience at Bain Capital may have done him some damage as well. While almost two-thirds saw his work there positively, a not-insubstantial 28 percent saw it as a negative – and among these voters Romney had essentially no support – 3 percent, to Gingrich’s 50. Skeptics of his experience at Bain disproportionately included lower-income voters, as well as those focused on moral character.