MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW)- Several GOP hopefuls have visited the palmetto state and another one will stop by our area today. South Carolina is a big state for mostly republican candidates, but even former first lady Hillary Clinton dropped by the capital about a month ago. That’s because South Carolina is referred to as the “first in the south presidential primary.”
Since 1980, just one candidate has won the republican nomination for United States president without first winning South Carolina’s republican primary. South Carolina presidential preference primaries have unique characteristics and demographics which are more reflective of the national electorate at large which could be one reason candidates try so hard to target our state.
Back in 2000, then-governor George W. Bush was propelled to the GOP nomination for president after winning South Carolina’s make-or-break GOP presidential primary. Bush had lost in New Hampshire to Senator McCain and then focused his attention on the palmetto state. That year, more than 500,000 South Carolina republicans voted in the presidential primary. After winning our state, then governor George W. Bush said, “I believe because of this vote today that I will be the next president of the United States.”
In 2012, a record-breaking 605,000 voters turned out in horrible weather to help former speaker Newt Gingrich win the state. Gingrich’s surprising victory was sparked by two dramatic presidential debates held in South Carolina in the week prior to the election.
So far, at least nine presidential candidates have visited South Carolina. Most recently was Mike Huckabee and Jeb Bush. Doctor Ben Carson also visited back in May. Today, New Jersey governor Chris Christie will try his luck in the palmetto state .He’ll be at the Sea Captain’s House starting at 9:30 for his meet and greet. The event is free but you do need to RSVP. You can still do that on eventbrite.com.
We’ll have crews there this morning. Count on news 13 at 5, 6, and 11 to hear what Mr. Christie had to say.