South Carolina primary

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The South Carolina presidential primary has become one of several key, "early-state" primary elections in the process of the Democratic and Republican Parties choosing their respective general election nominees for President of the United States.

Historically, this primary election has been much more important in the Republican Party's nomination process, considered a "firewall" that would permanently eliminate any/all serious rivals to the front-runner. It was designed to stop the momentum of any insurgent candidate(s) who threatened to catch or overtake the Republican establishment's preferred choice to win the nomination -- especially those who had strong showings in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.[1][2] This is meant to force the various factions of the party to quickly decide on and unite behind a single candidate, to avoid wasting precious time and resources on a drawn-out battle between their own candidates, that would divert the party's focus from working to defeat the Democrats' likely nominee. Since its 1980 inception, the winner of the South Carolina primary always becomes the eventual Republican National Convention nominee for that fall's general election[3] -- with one exception: the 2012 primary, in which eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney finished in second-place, behind winner Newt Gingrich (who would go on to "suspend" his campaign before that summer's convention began).

South Carolina has cemented its place as the "First in the South" primary for both parties. For the Democrats, the 2008 primary took on added significance because it was the first nominating contest in that cycle in which a large percentage (55 percent, according to an exit poll[4]) of primary voters were African Americans.[5]

The 2012 South Carolina primary was held on Saturday, January 21.[6]

Republican results[edit]

Democratic results[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Scherer, Michael (2008-01-09). "Huckabee Looks to South Carolina". TIME. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  3. ^ Rudin, Ken (2008-01-16). "South Carolina's Role as GOP Kingmaker". NPR. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  4. ^ "Election Center 2008: Primary Exit Polls - Elections & Politics news from". Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  5. ^ "January 7, 2008". The Nation. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  6. ^ "GOP Primary Case Before High Court". The Post and Courier. 2011-11-15. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  7. ^ "Jackson's Triumph in South Carolina Illustrates Dramatic Change Since Vote in '84". New York Times. 1988-03-14. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  8. ^ "THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: South Carolina; Bush and Clinton Score Big Victories". New York Times. 1992-03-08. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  9. ^ "2000 Democratic Presidential Caucus Results - South Carolina". Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  10. ^ "Primary Results by State - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  11. ^ "South Carolina Primary Election Results - Election Guide 2008 - Results - The New York Times". Retrieved 2012-01-05. 

External links[edit]