Posted: January 19, 2008 5:38 PM
McCain Seeks Redemption in South Carolina Vote
Eight years ago, South Carolina’s Republicans mortally wounded the insurgent campaign of Sen. John McCain, handing a critical victory to then-Gov. George W. Bush. Now, the Arizona Republican hopes to score a second critical victory in the Palmetto State.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a maverick Republican who supported McCain in 2000, has said this campaign has been easier, with established GOP leaders lending support to their effort.
“It’s a heckuva a lot better being with you than against,” Politico quoted Graham as telling a group of 100 influential South Carolina Republicans.
But for the Arizona senator to add to his New Hampshire victory, he will need to garner the support of the more socially conservative South Carolinians, something his supporters in the state say McCain has done.
“Everybody knows him better now,” South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster told the Arizona Republic. “They know he’s pro-life. They know he’s pro-family. They know he wants to reduce taxes and is for fiscal conservatism. All of these things that he stands for are very important to what is called the values voter.”
But beyond his work courting the Republican base, McCain has worked to sharpen his message, saying it is his constancy that would help him among Republican voters disaffected by the current state of the party.
“You may not have always agreed with him on every issue,” one South Carolina state legislator told “Dan Balz of the Washington Post”: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/01/18/mccain_and_the_disaffected_gop_1.html, “but you knew where he stood.”
McCain hoped a coalition of disaffected Republicans and military veterans would counter the Christian conservatives expected to back Gov. Mike Huckabee.
With snow and rain forecast, it would seem who could get their voters out on an ugly Saturday may be able to carry the day.