South Carolina is a key early primary. In every GOP primary from 1980-2008 the winner of the state’s primary ended up being the eventual party nominee. We have some early poll numbers that shows where South Carolina Republicans are at right now. According to Conservative Intel it’s:
- Chris Christie at 19%
- Ted Cruz at 17%
- Rand Paul at 13%
- Marco Rubio at 12%
- Paul Ryan at 12%
- Bobby Jindal at 6%
Looking at the results one take away is that Christie is benefiting from strong moderate support. Hegets 45% of the self-described moderates support. While it is of course good to be first, he really shouldn’t take too much comfort from the poll. Remember moderates are not the people who usually carry a GOP primary win the South. The key groups are actually conservative and older voters. In both cases Ted Cruz is leading in those areas.
This is also one of the first primary polls since the shutdown and it does appear that Cruz is not being punished for his role. In fact, he seems to be building support because of it. Look for Cruz to keep going full speed ahead.