The Wall Street Journal Looks Ahead to South Carolina

by

1 comment

From the Journal:

South Carolina's Republicans and Democrats will hold their primaries one week apart, and both could be pivotal.

Mr. Huckabee is widely expected to win the state. "Good night! A Baptist preacher in South Carolina -- how's he going to do badly?" asks Clemson University political scientist J. David Woodward. Mr. Romney has been endorsed by the state's Republican leadership and some popular evangelicals, which could help him to a second- or third-place finish.

But Mr. Romney's Mormon religion won't play well in a state where half the Sunday churchgoers identify themselves as Southern Baptists, and his background as governor of a liberal northeastern state also will be suspect. "He isn't going to win, but he's going to keep his ship afloat," says Mr. Woodward.

The bigger battle in South Carolina will be among the Democrats, who will face a large African-American electorate for the first time. Mrs. Clinton is clearly counting on that vote and has frequently dispatched former President Bill Clinton to South Carolina to court it. A Clemson poll conducted by Mr. Woodward before the Iowa caucuses showed the state's blacks -- who accounted for more than half the vote in the last three Democratic primaries -- tentatively supporting Mrs. Clinton.

But that is likely to have changed with the Iowa vote, which showed Mr. Obama as a viable candidate, he says. "The latent Obama surge is going to be huge here," he adds.

That won't translate into a Democratic bump in Florida's Jan. 29 primary -- the party also has withdrawn delegate votes from Florida as punishment for scheduling an early primary. But a victory in South Carolina could easily set up further southern victories for a Republican candidate, which could be bad news for Mr. Giuliani.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

 

Add a comment