The South has played a crucial role to the Republican Party for decades. Since 1996 every Republican presidential nominee has had some personal connection to the South. Furthermore, each of those nominees achieved their position by aggressively courting the Southern vote by reflecting their ethics and policy positions. Not so with Mitt Romney. Does that reflect more on the former Massachusetts governor's strategy, or a realization that the south may be experiencing a waning influence over the GOP?
Three days before the South Carolina Republican primary it seems like time has run out for Mitt Romney’s GOP rivals. The former Massachusetts governor is winning by a large margin in South Carolina polls, and should he go on to win the Palmetto state, he most likely will earn the Republican presidential nomination. But who knows what attacks will be launched, endorsements will be made and what surprises might be in store over the next 72 hours. Chad Connelly, South Carolina's GOP chairman, talks about the political climate in his home state.
After Iowa and New Hampshire, the next big competition for the Republican nomination lies in the South. With strong GOP bases in both Florida and South Carolina, the candidate that carries either state will need to appeal to a pool of voters that are more racially diverse than their northern counterparts. However, currying the favor of this mix of social, fiscal, and military conservatives will require a great deal more money, something that some campaigns are running short on.
Presidential candidates put a lot of effort into strategizing their election campaigns, and timing is an important part of that. Republican candidates could find their carefully arranged schedules completely flipped tomorrow, if Florida decides to move its primary election to January 31 — a month earlier than party leaders expected. This could result in other states changing the dates of their primaries, including the traditional early states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.