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Just how conservative is South Carolina?

In most peoples’ minds, there are three words that describe South Carolina politics: conservative, conservative, conservative. But how true is that image? As we near the crucial South Carolina primary, Need to Know’s Jeff Greenfield speaks with two people who are immersed in the state’s politics, to understand the various ideological strains running through the state’s Republican Party.

Brad Warthen oversaw the editorial page of South Carolina’s largest newspaper, The State, for 22 years before leaving in 2009. He now writes his own political blog, And Professor Robert Oldendick is the director of the Institute for Public Service and Policy Research at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Oldendick has spent time studying the role of public opinion in American politics, with a focus on racial differences. 


  • jan

    The 6 foot horsefly sitting on top of the tiny tube of ointment that comprised Mr. Greenfield’s soliloquy more commonly known as spin? 

    Romney is a Mormon which will never go over well with the evangelicals, as demonstrated by his loss last night.  His gaffe about enjoying firing people, even though it wasn’t meant that way, certainly reminded me of a couple of corporate raider organizations that took over companies my own family members were employed by and the way they fired everything that moved, raided the assets, and moved on leaving the smoking remains behind.  That may explain some other lost votes as well.  Since he appears to be the only potentially sane GOP candidate left in the race, his loss last night does not auger well for a GOP victory in 2012. 

    Gingrich, who is a hypocrite of unbelievable size and dimensions, will not go over well in the general election with the general population.  Given his decision to dump his first wife while she was still in the hospital, his second wife when she refused to have an open marriage (very easy to believe, by the way), and half million dollar account with a jewelry store?…..  No way.  The wild cheering by his fans at the debate when he told the media that his personal life was not their business (something I might have agreed with prior to his attempts to impeach Clinton while hiding his own affair) left no one watching in any doubt that there are a lot of hypocrites in the GOP.  Gingrich and his voters are displaying an entitlement mentality, period.     

    I am currently fighting the urge to politely ask if Mr. Greenfield attended the same Academy of Spin that Mr. Brooks attended…