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.


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora