Most of the results are in from South Carolina as I write this. Gingrich won overwhelmingly (although still without a majority). Romney took second and Santorum took third. Paul took fourth with about 13% of the vote.
This might be seen as somewhat of a disappointment to Ron Paul fans out there. However, you should consider that the vote totals out of South Carolina are considerably better than 4 years ago
when he received less than 4%.
South Carolina is a southern conservative state. For some reason, many southern conservative Christians who stress morality don't seem to be bothered when foreigners are killed. Perhaps they don't think in these terms, but for some reason, they are unable to see the incredibly immoral wars that the U.S. government starts for what they are. Surprisingly, it looks like many of the self-identified Christian conservatives in South Carolina were not bothered by Gingrich's past of infidelity and divorce.
The trend continues (by looking at the exit polls) that older voters tend to support Mitt Romney. The middle-aged voters go more for Gingrich and Santorum. The younger voters go overwhelmingly for Ron Paul. This is highly encouraging for the future.
Another interesting thing from the exit polls is that those making over $200,000 are far less likely to support Ron Paul than those who are low or middle income. While Ron Paul says he would like to eventually have a zero percent rate for income taxes (which would directly benefit the high income earners), he obviously gains support from young people because they understand it is in their own self interest and also because they understand the morality of allowing people to be free.
Ron Paul is unlikely to do well in Florida. He is not campaigning much there and the population is tilted towards older people. But then will come Nevada (where he could win) and some other caucus states. He will continue to try to collect as many delegates as possible.
While Rick Santorum will probably stay in the race, it looks like his chances are very low at this point. This is really a three-way race between Romney, Gingrich, and Paul. I am not delusional. Romney is still the heavy favorite to be the Republican nominee. But you never know what might happen. Perhaps there will be a major stock market crash or some other big financial event that draws people to pay more attention to Ron Paul.
Regardless of what happens, libertarians should stay positive. These results are extraordinarily better than 4 years ago. The young people are moving in our direction, which is very important. While anyone can change their mind, I would venture to guess that most young people who are dedicated Ron Paul supporters today are not going to become less libertarian as time goes on.