News / USA

Romney Looks to Hold Off Challengers in South Carolina Primary

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Andrews Field House at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., January 18, 2012.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns at Andrews Field House at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., January 18, 2012.

The battle for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination shifts to the U.S. state of South Carolina on Saturday. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is hoping for a third straight victory in the South Carolina primary after earlier wins in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. But Romney’s Republican rivals are hoping to at least slow him down.

South Carolina public opinion

Mitt Romney leads in the latest public opinion surveys from South Carolina, and experts say a victory in Saturday’s primary on the heels of wins in Iowa and New Hampshire would be a giant step toward securing the Republican nomination.

Romney continues to focus most of his attention on President Barack Obama’s record in office.

“It has been a tough time," he said. " And this president - he has run out of ideas and now he is running out of excuses. In 2012, he is going to run out of time. We are getting rid of him!”

Rivals look for turnaround

Romney’s Republican rivals are well aware that the South Carolina contest might be their best chance to stop or at least slow down his march toward the nomination.

Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich is hoping for a rebound in South Carolina, after weak finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Gingrich is trying to rally conservative voters to his campaign.

“I think it is very hard for a moderate to defeat Obama because I think you need [ideological] space in order to overcome the billion dollar negative campaign,” he said.

Gingrich continues to battle for conservative support with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Santorum is hoping for a comeback on Saturday, after a poor finish in last week’s New Hampshire primary.

“This is a race where the people are going to speak," said Santorum. "And there is going to be a big surprise in South Carolina on Saturday.”

Perry is hoping to recharge his White House hopes in South Carolina by appealing to conservative Christian voters, who often wield influence in southern primaries.

Gingrich and Paul

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas take part in the South Carolina Republican presidential candidate debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C, January 16, 2012.
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas take part in the South Carolina Republican presidential candidate debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C, January 16, 2012.

Texas Representative Ron Paul is also competing in South Carolina.

Romney continues to benefit from the fact that his four remaining rivals are splitting the votes of Republicans looking to nominate a more conservative candidate.

“I think the reason why Romney is so close to wrapping this up is that the conservative base doesn’t have a candidate," said Allan Lichtman, a presidential scholar at American University here in Washington. "They have had six candidates, and they have all fallen on their faces.”

Pollster Frank Newport of the Gallup organization says Romney’s early victories have established him as the favorite to win the Republican nomination.

“He is getting 37 percent of the vote nationally - 23 points ahead of his nearest competitor nationally," said Newport. "History shows that the Republican candidate who is ahead after New Hampshire in the modern era of primaries has always gone on to win the nomination.  So history says he will be the nominee, Romney.”

But some experts are predicting a late surge in South Carolina by Gingrich, following a strong debate performance earlier in the week.

A Romney victory in South Carolina would be significant. Since 1980, every Republican candidate who has won the South Carolina primary has gone on to win the party’s presidential nomination.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs