Gingrich takes home state, Bartow County
by Matt Shinall
Mar 07, 2012 | 1751 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thomas Fontaine, right, walks by voters as he goes to turn in his voter computer card at the Cartersville East voting precinct. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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In unofficial election night results, Mitt Romney came out ahead taking three states, Rick Santorum won two and Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich decidedly took his home state of Georgia, including Bartow County.

Statewide, Gingrich raked in nearly half of all votes cast in Tuesday's Republican Presidential Preference Primary. In Bartow, Gingrich carried 56 percent of votes cast in the Republican race with 6,123 votes. Rick Santorum came in second in Bartow with 2,051 votes as Romney trailed slightly with 1,934.

Those numbers did not hold true across the state, however, for Santorum who came in third in Georgia. Romney, like Gingrich, claimed a victory in his home state of Massachusetts where he served as governor. Romney also took Virginia and Vermont, with Santorum winning Tennessee and Oklahoma.

Coming in fourth, Ron Paul gathered only 6 percent of the votes in Georgia and only slightly better in Bartow with 673 votes.

Supporters showing up for Democratic nominee President Barack Obama tallied 268 votes in Bartow County, outpacing the last five Republican candidates combined. Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry picked up 19 votes apiece while Buddy Roemer followed with 13 votes, Jon Huntsman with 9 and Gary Johnson with 6.

In all, 11,173 votes were cast in the 2012 Bartow County Presidential Preference Primary bringing turnout of the 48,602 registered voters to 22.9 percent -- a number Elections Supervisor Joseph Kirk was disappointed to see.

"I was very disappointed with that turnout for a presidential election," Kirk said. "With all the people that have been fired up about it, I thought we would have more come out to vote."

Speaking with The Daily Tribune News from the Atlanta victory party for the Gingrich campaign was Cartersville native and Gingrich campaign staff member Jacob Hawkins. Serving as website administrator for www.newt.org and other online forms of campaign presence, Hawkins commented on the atmosphere following Tuesday's win.

"It's pretty exciting, the crowd was on fire -- a lot of excitement in the room. It's a big win in Georgia, we're still waiting to see the final results come out but it was definitely a big victory," Hawkins said.

Gingrich took home a victory in Georgia following several losses on the heels of his first victory in neighboring South Carolina. With a fresh victory under their belts, the Gingrich campaign is looking now toward future contests in Alabama and Mississippi coming up next week. With the support of former candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Hawkins expressed optimism about capturing delegates in Texas and feels California will be kind to Gingrich as well.

"It's a delegate battle now and that's the race we're running," Hawkins said.

With unofficial results still coming in, Gingrich will capture at least 23 delegates from Super Tuesday. The candidate-to-be will need 1,144 to claim the party's nomination at the Republican National Convention in August.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this article.