Much has been made over the last week about the fate of the South Carolina primary. The "will it be funded/not funded?" question is not a new one. On Friday, FHQ exchanged emails with Politico's Kendra Marr and my general sentiments have not changed since then given the most recent news from south of the border here in North Carolina. Here's what I told her:
“It would be the death of a tradition that began after Reagan,” [Columbia-based GOP operative, Richard] Quinn said of ending the primary, which developed the reputation as “the place where presidents are chosen. It would be a tragedy,” Quinn said.
Quinn added a caucus likely would not include the independent voters whose turnout built the GOP primary, which does not require voters be registered Republicans to vote.
“Raise the money and partner with the Election Commission,” Dawson said, when asked what the S.C. GOP should do. “They’re going to have to man up and get the thing done.”And if the party doesn't do that, FHQ expects them to hold an early stand-alone caucus that won't include independent voters and won't hurt anyone but candidates seeking those independents' votes. Romney might like them, but it will likely really hurt someone like Huntsman who is counting on those sorts of voters to help him in New Hampshire and South Carolina to propel him into Florida. Romney doesn't necessarily need South Carolina for the nomination. He has other paths. Other candidates don't.