This report, that South Dakota senator John Thune or friends or supporters of his are conducting polling in South Carolina, is intriguing, but I wonder why a senator who isn’t well-known would bother conducting polling at this point. How surprising could the survey results be? Conservatives who follow politics closely probably have heard of Thune, and have generally positive feelings about him, and it’s likely that many Palmetto State Republicans have barely heard of him, or don’t know much about him.
If a Republican aspires to build his name recognition in states with early primaries, there are two ways to do this. The traditional way is to travel there and give speeches; a less common method is to accomplish goals that please conservatives across the country.