What to watch for in South Carolina?

    Today’s an exciting day for folks watching the Republican presidential primary with interest. After all, Thursday might have been the single most exciting day of the 2012 presidential race thus far, with Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropping out, Mitt Romney losing his victory over Rick Santorum after Iowa’s recount, ABC Frontline’s explosive interview with Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife and then the former House Speaker’s equally explosive attack on CNN’s John King asking about allegations raised in that interview at the debate that night.

    All candidates know how much is at stake: The winner of the GOP nod in the Palmetto State has ALWAYS won the Republican nomination!

    Tonight, NPR will be posting live results here, for those who want to set their bookmarks now.

    And WHYY will be broadcasting NPR’s South Carolina special coverage from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight.    Guy Raz and Audie Cornish will co-host the South Carolina special. Coverage will feature candidate speeches, newsmaker interviews, and expert analysis from NPR Contributors E.J. Dionne (The Washington Post) and Matthew Continetti (The Weekly Standard), along with polling insights from The Pew Center’s Andrew Kohut. We’ll also hear from NPR’s Mara Liasson in our Washington studio and Ron Elving. NPR reporters Don Gonyea, Ari Shapiro, Robert Smith, and Tovia Smith, and Andrea Seabrook will be at candidate headquarters throughout the Palmetto State.

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    Yesterday’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane offered some post-debate analysis and primary preview, and closed with a look ahead to Florida.

    And you can’t go wrong refreshing yourself on the excellent analysis provided by NewsWorks blogger and longtime Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Dick Polman. He marveled at Newt Gingrich’s strategy and strong defensive performance at Thursday night’s debate, and Mitt Romney’s poor showing, in this post.

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