This Saturday (1/19/08) the South Carolina Republican Primary takes place. Voting starts at 11am. The Republican Nevada Caucus also takes place but Mitt Romney is the only Republican candidate who’s been focusing on Nevada and the polls show him leading. As a side note, the Democratic South Carolina Primary takes place on January 26.
The focus tomorrow will be the battle between Huckabee and McCain with Fred Thompson hoping to take a strong 1st or 2nd place.
First, a video report on the primary from Fox News:
As of now, the RealClearPolitics South Carolina poll averages shows McCain leading, they breakdown as follows:
% on average (1/14 – 1/17)
28.1 – McCain
23.9 – Huckabee
16.1 – Romney
13.6 – Thompson
4.3 – Paul
3.4 – Giuliani
Looking at these polls, it appears that McCain is running away with the top spot in South Carolina. The trend lines, on the other hand, show that Huckabee and Romney have been falling while Thompson and McCain have been rising. While it’s true, Thompson has taken in well over a $1 million in the past several days since his debate performance, his polls have only risen slightly.
My theory on the Republican side is that McCain is taking advantage of the fact that Conservative Republicans are currently being diluted between Romney, Huckabee, and Thompson. They all share a part of the base and that is giving McCain the lead right now. In past elections, Iowa and New Hampshire may have thinned the field by now. However, this year all a candidate has to do to stay in is wait a few days for the next primary. In fact, all the candidates could probably manage to stick it out until at least Super Tuesday, just a couple weeks out.
It’s possible that Thompson has a late-breaking surge and perhaps Romney supporters decide to cast a vote for Fred.
We’ll have all the results tomorrow from both Nevada and South Carolina once they’re released.