Friday, January 18, 2008
Blizzard in Carolina.. And there's some weather here, too



Gary Tuchman
360 Correspondent


I'm driving on the interstate to cover a presidential primary. It is snowing like there's no tomorrow. You can no longer see the pavement and it's icy. A huge truck just jack-knifed and is in the median. Visibility is very poor because the snow is blowing right in the windshield. It feels like New Hampshire or Iowa, but it's not. This is South Carolina. What the heck is going on here? Meterologically... and politically!

That was Wednesday night. Now that I'm back in New York, I've come to the conclusion that the Iowa- and New Hampshire-like weather in the heart of Dixie was most appropriate. That's because South Carolina has assumed Iowa and New Hampshire-like significance in the Republican presidential race. Huckabee won Iowa... McCain won New Hampshire... Romney won Wyoming and Michigan.

Basically, it's all been a wash. So South Carolinians could very well be annointing a frontrunner. The story we are putting together for tonight's AC 360 is about the state's evangelical voters. Up to half of all GOP voters here are believed to be evangelical Christians.

To win the Palmetto State, a candidate will have to do well with those voters. You might assume Mike Huckabee has the advantage. But the military culture is an important part of church culture in this state. And many people who feel strongly about that are voting for McCain. Keep your eye on snowy South Carolina!
Posted By CNN: 1:42 PM ET
  9 Comments
Id say S. Carolina is MCCain country big time. Huckabee is just a few years too young to have that "Greatest Generation" vibe, and John McCain sort of stands for that proud military traditional - with a touch of snarkiness thrown in .
Posted By Anonymous Bill - Louisville, Ky. : 2:00 PM ET
I like your use of the word "annointing." Could be appropriate considering the evangelical makeup of SC. So, don't you reporters get "snow days" where you get to stay home?

Lewis
Portland, Oregon
www.spiritofsaintlewis.blogspot.com
Posted By Blogger Lewis : 2:01 PM ET
Gary,
Man...you better be careful! What you won't do for a story huh!?

I think that it is going to be a tight race between Huckabee and McCain. But I still think that Huckabee will win. Strictly because he is the one to me that best fits with the evangelical values while McCain has his issues with them.

Stay safe!!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 2:03 PM ET
I think Fred Thompson's down-to-earth appeal will win out in SouthCarolina, with McCain a close second. I think conservatives will remember John's lukewarm stance on issues, but will be impressed with Fred's stauch right-wing views.
Posted By Anonymous Carole, Augusta, GA : 2:04 PM ET
I see a lot of McCain and Thompson support from the 'undecideds' in So Carolina . But the cold weather might stop some voters - they're not used to driving on icy roads, are they?
Posted By Anonymous aj huntington, ny. : 2:10 PM ET
Dear Gary,

Please tell me someone else was driving while you were blogging to us!

I think you are right, every state will become more significant as this search for a frontrunner progresses. Based on what I have been seeing, the weather could also be reflecting the mood of the candidates and their supporters as they battle this out to the bitter end.

I think everyone has learned that you cannot assume anything in this presidential election. Maybe South Carolina will bring us closer to the answer, but I have a feeling the voters will continue to be unpredictable, keeping all of you journalists on your toes.

I look forward to tonight's chilly report!

Jo Ann
North Royalton, Ohio
Posted By Blogger Jo Ann : 2:12 PM ET
I'm not impressed with any of the Republican candidates, but of them all, Huckabee with his statements on bringing the Constitution in line with Christian Biblical standards should frighten everyone.

If Huckabee does win the South Carolina primary, I hope the media begins to thoroughly investigate Huckabee's close ties with Christian Reconstructionists, and fully explains what that means to American voters.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 3:52 PM ET
I'm not impressed with any of the Republican candidates, but of them all, Huckabee with his statements on bringing the Constitution in line with Christian Biblical standards should frighten everyone.

If Huckabee does win the South Carolina primary, I hope the media begins to thoroughly investigate Huckabee's close ties with Christian Reconstructionists, and fully explains what that means to American voters.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 3:53 PM ET
I'm hoping for a McCain win in South Carolina - anybody but Huckabee. He scares me with his talk of changing the constitution to adhere more to god's laws. We're suppose to have separation of church and state and since not all of us are Christian I don't want to see a change like that.

Lets hope its only the weather that is snowy in SC and that the candidates don't snow the voters and we get a good front runner out of this primary.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 4:04 PM ET
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