What do South Carolina Voters Want?
Texas Governor Rick Perry has been touring South Carolina for three days. He will be traveling pillar to post across the state over the next 11 days, hoping to convince Republican voters he’s worth their vote. But is Perry what South Carolina Republicans are looking for?
There are many things Republican voters in South Carolina told me they wanted to see in a candidate: a straight shooter, stingy on federal spending, tough on illegal immigration. Wrap those qualities together and you get a true conservative, says Tim Morgan of Greer, South Carolina.
“I mean you’ve got two different areas,” Morgan said, “the upstate, which is an extremely conservative area. And then you’ve got Charleston, the low country. It’s a little bit more moderate but I think on the whole they want a true conservative.”
In a state steeped in military history and with an economy that turns in part on the country’s defense industry, someone who shows strength to other world leaders is a key for Gene Hawkins of Greenville.
“I think a President that can stand our ground and quit bowing down to everyone,” Hawkins said, “I mean right now it’s like we’re a 3rd rate country. And we’re bowing down to them. Everyone owes us something no matter who they are because we’re the leader in the world.”
Will the state’s strong evangelical base play a role in who wins this primary? Yes, says Tim Morgan’s son Adam. But that doesn’t mean the state will automatically go to the candidate carrying the evangelical banner.
“If you look historically South Carolina is not predictable. They’ve gone with McCain when everyone thought they were going to go with Huckabee,” Morgan said, “I think they really do actually look at the candidates and pick the ones they think have the best chance or have the best credentials and I think they’ll do it again.”
For Spartanburg resident Ben Fuller, all those things are great. But he really wants a candidate that has, “Spunk, I want to see spunk in them. Somebody that will challenge Obama, really challenge him.”
And you could say that’s the final piece of the puzzle for South Carolina Republicans. There are many different traits voters want in a Republican nominee. But what they all agree on is that they really want a winner, someone who can beat President Obama.