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The consequences of an extended GOP primary season




Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich takes part in a TV interview during a campaign event at the Grapevine Restaurant in Spartanburg, S.C., on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, the unpredictable voting day of the South Carolina presidential primary.
Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich takes part in a TV interview during a campaign event at the Grapevine Restaurant in Spartanburg, S.C., on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, the unpredictable voting day of the South Carolina presidential primary.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

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Newt Gingrich's upset in South Carolina will extend the primary season -- possibly for months. Long primaries can energize the party's base. They can help candidates build support state by state. Or, they can push us all into political apathy.

Guest:


Jack Pitney, politics professor at Claremont McKenna College