With news of Mitt Romney’s win in Michigan filtering through yesterday evening, for the Republicans it was three primaries down, three winners, nothing resolved. On my way to South Carolina I sat next to a McCain volunteer. He was confident that McCain would take Michigan, followed by Nevada and South Carolina at the weekend. That scenario would in all likelihood have wrapped things up for McCain by the night of Super Tuesday (a welcome relief for his cash-starved campaign). But it now looks as though both the GOP and Democratic race will run well beyond “super-duper Tuesday” on 5th February.
As for Charleston, South Carolina, it’s just as you’d imagine: warm yet breezy, laid-back, friendly. When canvassing on the phone, the response, if you ask for the person who picks up, is “This is she” (“she” to rhyme with “day”). Most I’ve spoken with are courteous; they intend to vote and many have already made up their mind. For the Republicans it is likely to be McCain or Huckabee (despite the many Fred Thompson posters skirting the roads from the airport). Meanwhile, John Edwards is unlikely to repeat his victory of 2004, when he picked up 45 per cent of the vote. Instead, we will see the resolution of part IV of Clinton vs Obama.