The buzz around South Carolina is that the crumbling state party organization may not even be able to HOLD a primary because of the cost. The party’s desperately trying to scrape together the $500,000 needed to hold a statewide election (in SC, the parties, not the state, conduct and fund primary elections). One Democratic insider told me that the Dems may try to only open about a third of the polling places–a decision which will likely inspire a GOP legal challenge in a state still operating under the Voting Rights Act.
So prevalent is the rumor that the SC Dem primary may disappear that the state party organization had to address it yet again last week.
Meanwhile, the loudest chatter about the SC primary being passe’ is coming from Howard Dean, who has all but written off the Palmetto State primary. He’s focusing instead on the Feb. 10th contest in Virginia to prove he can win in the South.
At a recent campaign event, Dean supporter and former Lt. Governor Don Beyer said “the campaign’s primary election strategy focused on the top three states of Iowa, New Hampshire and VIRGINIA.”[emphasis added]
When it comes to those rednecks with the Confederate flags, the Dean strategy seems to be “If you can’t win ‘em, leave ‘em.”