South Carolina Republican primary, 2008

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South Carolina Republican primary, 2008
South Carolina
2000 ←
January 19, 2008 (2008-01-19) → 2012

  John McCain official photo portrait.JPG Huckabee-SF-CC-024.jpg Fred Thompson.jpg
Nominee John McCain Mike Huckabee Fred Thompson
Party Republican Republican Republican
Home state Arizona Arkansas Tennessee
Popular vote 147,733 132,990 69,681
Percentage 33.15% 29.84% 15.63%


Election results by county. Red denotes counties won by McCain, and Pink denotes those won by Huckabee.

The South Carolina Republican primary, 2008 was held on January 19, with 24 delegates at stake.[1] The Republican National Committee took half of South Carolina's 47 delegates away from them because the state committee moved its Republican primary before February 5.[1][2] It was held on the same day as the Nevada Republican caucuses, 2008.

The primary has become one of several key early state nominating contests in the process of choosing the nominee of the Republican party for the November 2008 election for President of the United States. It has historically been more important for the Republican Party than for the Democratic Party; from its inception in 1980 through the election of 2000, the winner of the Republican presidential primary has gone on to win the nomination.[3] As of 2008, the primary has cemented its place as the "First in the South" primary for both parties.[4]

This states 24 delegates would be awarded on a "Winner-Takes-All" basis. 12 Delegates for the State-wide winner and 12 delegates awarded on a District-winner basis awarding 2 delegates for each of the states then 6 Congressional districts.[5]


As of January 19, RealClearPolitics reported that the average support from polls placed McCain in the lead with 26.9%, followed by Huckabee with 25.9%, Romney with 14.7%, Thompson with 14.6%, Paul with 4.4%, and Giuliani with 3.4%.[6]


Huckabee was for weeks leading in the state but lost by a 14,743 vote margin. He did manage to win Congressional districts 3, 4 and 5 in the North of the state earning him a total of 6 delegates.[5]

Mike Huckabee giving his concession speech after the 2008 South Carolina Presidential Primary in Columbia, SC.

John McCain won the state-wide primary earning him 12 Delegates[7][8][9] as well as Congressional Districts 1, 2 and 6. earning him an additional 6 delegates for a total of 18.[5]

100% of precincts reporting[10]
Candidate Votes Percentage Delegates
John McCain 147,733 33.15% 18
Mike Huckabee 132,990 29.84% 6
Fred Thompson 69,681 15.63% 0
Mitt Romney 68,177 15.3% 0
Ron Paul 16,155 3.62% 0
Rudy Giuliani 9,575 2.15% 0
Duncan Hunter* 1,051 0.24% 0
Tom Tancredo* 121 0.03% 0
Hugh Cort 88 0.02% 0
John H. Cox 83 0.02% 0
Cap Fendig 23 0.01% 0
Total 445,677 100% 24

* Candidate withdrew his bid for the nomination prior to the reporting of the primary. On January 22, 2008 after a poor showing Fred Thompson dropped out of the race. Duncan Hunter did so too.

Results of prior primaries[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]