South Carolina

Ron Paul, Tribune Of The Working Class?
January 13, 2012

Amid all the talk this week about whether Newt Gingrich et al will be able to bring down Mitt Romney with their attacks on Bain Capital, there's been little said about the man who's really on the move: Ron Paul. After finishing a strong second in New Hampshire -- tripling his share of the vote from four years ago -- Paul is the one getting a bounce in South Carolina.

Finally, One State Gets It Right On Immigration
January 13, 2012

There’s been no shortage of attention to the wave of recent laws in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and elsewhere that have ordered police to check detainees for proof of legal residence, required school officials to check the legality of students’ immigration status and prohibited employers from hiring undocumented aliens and landlords from renting to them. According to the conventional wisdom, it’s Washington that’s ultimately responsible for these draconian laws: The federal government forced local government’s hand by failing to address comprehensive immigration reform.

Why Romney’s Bain Problem Could Kill His Candidacy
January 12, 2012

There is good news and bad news for Mitt Romney out of New Hampshire. The good news is that he won an impressively broad-based victory that did nothing to slow his drive for the Republican presidential nomination. But it also exposed a vulnerability that could soon prove debilitating, if not fatal, to his candidacy. While Romney is not yet a prohibitive favorite, he will be if he wins in South Carolina. And he will win, as John McCain did in 2008, if multiple candidates to his right divide the anybody-but-Mitt vote.

The Perverse Impressiveness of Romney's Victory
January 11, 2012

Has there ever been a bigger gap between a party’s enthusiasm for its presumptive nominee (very low in this case) and the ease of his path to the nomination? Romney emerges from New Hampshire with a win that won’t impress anyone, given his ties to the state and the relentlessness he showed in courting it.

Can Mitt Prevent His Opponents From Going Medieval on Him?
January 11, 2012

Last night was, by all accounts, a good night for Mitt Romney. He went into the New Hampshire primary needing two things: to win by a significant margin and to leave no one else with a plausible path to victory. The results from the Granite State fulfilled both of these Romney criteria, and it’s now extremely likely Mitt Romney will win the Republican presidential nomination this year.

The Real N.H. Showdown Comes In November
January 10, 2012

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Barack Obama needs to get himself to New Hampshire, pronto. There are some awfully discombobulated voters up here, and if he has any hope of holding onto the state next fall, he’s going to need to have a serious talk with them. That’s my main takeaway from Mitt Romney’s successful wearing down of a skeptical electorate to the point where, after six years of having him showing up at their tiniest parades and showering cash on their lowliest of elected officials, it finally said: Uncle.

The Real Aim Behind Newt’s Bain-Bashing Video?
January 09, 2012

I’m reluctant to call the 28-minute video attacking Romney’s Bain years, which the Gingrich super PAC plans to air in South Carolina, a full-on swift-boating. The video takes what was an ambiguous situation—Romney’s activities clearly cost jobs even if they benefited the economy, as Jon Chait points out—and gives it a very stark, one-sided portrayal.

Live Free or Die of Boredom: Why This Is the Least Exciting New Hampshire Primary Ever
January 09, 2012

Rochester, N.H.—Having emerged unbloodied Sunday morning from the weekend’s debate double-header, Mitt Romney barreled down Route 101 at more than 80 miles an hour towards a noon rally at the Rochester Opera House. (I can verify the speedometer reading since the Romney campaign bus zoomed past me in a 65-mile-an-hour zone and I tailed it until it turned off the highway). The front-runner’s haste was understandable, since Romney wants this primary inscribed in the record books before his double-digit lead vanishes.

Romney is Wrapping This Up
January 08, 2012

I've spent the last few days arguing that there’s only one plausible way to make Mitt Romney sweat this nomination contest: Rick Santorum has to beat expectations in New Hampshire so that he comes into South Carolina with a head of steam and consolidates the anti-Romney vote there. To do that, Santorum doesn't need to win New Hampshire, where Romney is all but assured of victory. But he does need to finish well ahead of Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich, who constitute the rest of the contending pack.

New SC Numbers Show It’s All About NH
January 06, 2012

Today brought three new South Carolina polls:  Romney leads 37 to 19 for Santorum and 18 for Gingrich in this CNN/Time poll. Romney leads 31 to 24 for Santorum and 24 for Gingrich in this ARG poll. And Romney leads 27 to 24 for Santorum and 18 for Gingrich in this Rasmussen poll. The numbers jump around, but they all point overwhelmingly to the same conclusion: The only way Romney is going to lose South Carolina—and therefore earn himself a bona fide fight—is if the Santorum-Gingrich vote gets consolidated.