Interesting reader response to my earlier post about the media fixation on the South Carolina GOP primary at the expensive of the Nevada GOP caucus on the same day. Several respondents chastised me for not understanding that SC reveals a candidate’s appeal in the South, which has become the base region for the party and critical to winning its nomination. Well, yes, I’m somewhat familiar with Southern politics and South Carolina’s past role in the process, but let’s not go overboard. If you think South Carolina’s primary electorate is an accurate reflection of the electorates in Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and even North Carolina, you need to do more homework. Similar in some ways, but hardly equivalent. Florida’s delegate-rich primary isn’t far away, and Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee are coming up Feb. 5. Add in the border states also voting that day (Missouri, West Virginia, arguably Oklahoma) and you have lots of delegates from the GOP base that will not necessarily go to the first-place winner in South Carolina. This is not like 2000, 1992 or 1988, in many ways.
And then there’s this interesting additional explanation from a Corner reader for the media’s decision:
I think there’s one other factor: slimy campaigning.
Though they denounce it (especially when it’s aimed at McCain),
reporters love depicting Republicans as rolling around in the mud.
Unfortunately, they can usually count on South Carolina to dish up mud
by the truckload.
I think that may also factor in Romney’s decision to get out of there.
Everyone will end up splattered before Saturday.
I’ll accept it as a friendly amendment to my previous list.