The large GOP field for president is about to be narrowed by two. South Carolina is the primary that selects Republican nominees; no Republican has won his party’s nomination without first carrying South Carolina. While that may not be the case in jumbled-up 2008, it seems likely that victory strategies for McCain, Huckabee, and Thompson all require a win in South Carolina. Yet only one can win (and this blog long ago wrote off Thompson). So after Saturday, in effect there will be only Romney (who is hoping to add Nevada to his Tuesday win in Michigan), Giuliani (who must win in Florida to stay alive), and the South Carolina winner.
Low voter turnout for the GOP primaries, along with very poor fundraising efforts by all Republican candidates, are early signs that this year, the country is leaving the GOP behind. The party’s inability to settle on a frontrunner seems more a sign of weakness than strength. It’s dangerously close to “who cares?” Still, there are months and months and months to go—time for change, as some would say.