By Erika Zapecza
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV)-- The rain fell heavy, as did the feeling of anticipation for the outcome of the South Carolina Primary. The inclimate weather didn't stand in the way of Gingrich supporters. They were a force to be reckoned with.
One supporter traveled all the way from Laughlin, Nevada. "America will live again with a vote for Gingrich," Barbara Marks said. "I'm 78 years old, I've lived the golden years, I want my grandchildren to live them too."
Marks made the drive to downtown Columbia, South Carolina from Nevada all alone, running out of gas along the way and walking to the nearest service station with the oil can she keeps in the back of her car.
From old to young they came out in droves, excited to meet others who supported their shared cause, wanting a GOP nominee strong enough to defeat President Obama in the 2012 Presidential Race.
"He's going to show the largest contrast with President Obama," said a former employee of Gingrich's. That employee, who requested his name be kept private, road tripped with a group of friends from Washington, D.C.
"Gingrich is a great guy to work for," he said. "He immediately gave us responsibilities, put the pressure on us to do well in our jobs when it was needed, and most importantly looked at us as family."
A microphone check tried to beat out the bass thumping from the speakers blaring Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." Super supporter John Sherwood Jones, however, was heard over all of the noise.
Shouting "Let's get ready to rumble! Newt! Newt! Newt! Newt!" and capped in a canvas hat covered in Gingrich 2012 stickers, Jones said "What I like most about Gingrich is that he believes in the power of the Constitution."
A retired Army officer from Waynesboro, SC, Jones believes that Gingrich's influence from his step-father, a career soldier, will have a positive influence on the military decisions he'll make in office.
As he gleamed with support, a larger than life Gingrich 2012 sign was hung behind the podium and the crowd went wild.
Raising a sign herself, Aiken, S.C. resident, Bree Saum encouraged Americans to read Gingrich's book "Rediscovering God in America" as that was what sealed her support.
Following Saum's words Toby Keith's "American Ride" seemed to circle the supporters together, plenty of which had taken their own American ride to back their choice for GOP Presidential nominee.
Unlike the storms that passed through earlier in the day, Gingrich was delayed in walking out on stage. The crowd didn't seem to mind. Patiently waiting, they made plenty of thunder, chanting, "A whole Newt world!" and "We want Newt!"
"Lightening" up the room when he eventually did make his entrance, Gingrich thanked his supporters and as if to forecast a storm warning said "Thank you South Carolina, Florida look out."