Official: McCain Wins South Carolina Republican Primary

It’s official, McCain is being declared the winner in South Carolina. This is setting up the ultimate match in Florida for a tie breaker between McCain and Romney. However, someone like Giuliani could upset in Florida as well. Note, the Democrats have their South Carolina Primary on Jan. 26th.

Here’s the official release on McCain’s win from ABC News:

Sen. John McCain narrowly beat out former Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican South Carolina primary Saturday night, reversing his 2000 defeat to George W. Bush in the state, and solidifying himself as a candidate to be reckoned with leading up to the multi-state Super Tuesday votes.

The Arizona senator has battled back from the brink of political disaster this summer when his campaign was thought to be almost over after lackluster fundraising results and staffing shakeups.

Support from the state’s military veterans, who account for 25 percent of the electorate in the Republican contest, and support from independents and moderates helped McCain win victory. A big turnout by conservatives and evangelicals kept Huckabee competitive in the state.

With over three-quarters of the precincts reporting, McCain has garnered 33 percent support, Huckabee 30 percent, with Thompson at 16 percent and Romney at 15 percent.

So what does this all mean for Fred Thompson? Duncan Hunter has already dropped out, it’s about time. However, Thompson did finish his 3rd place he wanted in order to continue. It would still not surprise me if Fred drops out anyway.

The next contest for the Republicans is Florida coming up on January 29th. It’s shaping up to be a three-way tie right now between McCain, Romney, and Giuliani. We’ll see how that changes following South Carolina. I’ll update this post later once McCain gives his South Carolina victory speech.

Update:

Here is McCain’s victory speech to supporters:

He looked much better than New Hampshire in my opinion.