The race to become the Republican presidential nominee has been anything but predictable, and many believe that the upcoming primary in South Carolina will play a pivotal role in determining the eventual winner.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, businessman Donald Trump enjoyed a decisive victory in New Hampshire and is looking to continue that momentum into South Carolina.
However, considering the stark ideological differences between New Hampshire and Southern states, it’s a safe bet that Trump will not enjoy a repeat of his dominant performance up North.
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas will be looking to enlist the Christian right in South Carolina, much like he did in Iowa, where he won the first Republican presidential primary. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio impressed with a second-place finish in New Hampshire, but his bipartisan views could impact his support in the Palmetto State.
The winner of the South Carolina primary will likely be whoever presents themselves as a strong commander-in-chief. The state is home to 58,000 military retirees, and most residents desire a strong-minded president who will not hesitate to protect their freedom.
“The commander-in-chief question is going to be a big one,” said Jim Dyke, a senior adviser to Republican candidate Jeb Bush. “If you look at exit polls from 2008 and 2012, in both elections about 25% identified as active military or had served in the military.”
South Carolina as a whole is a vibrant community, defined by a rich history and unwavering morals. While homeland security will certainly be considered, South Carolinians are a wise group of people who expect a sincere, proactive president above all else.
According to Boston.com, the upcoming South Carolina primary may be even more important than many people think. With the exception of 2012, every single South Carolina primary winner since Ronald Reagan has gone on to claim the Republican nomination.
Political pundits are expecting an extremely tight race in South Carolina, and despite the state’s sparkling predictive history, the GOP probably won’t know its nominee until the Republican National Convention in July.