The Spectacle Blog

Are South Carolina Republicans Mere Sheeple?

By on 1.16.12 | 1:10PM

I've always discarded the notion that South Carolina Republicans are mere "sheeple," following the lead of the establishment or the conventional wisdom in order to pick the expected "winner" of the Republican nomination contest rather than actually choosing the person they like best. On the other hand, there is something to be said for South Carolina crowning the establishment choice every single time. It did so for GHW Bush; it did so for Bob Dole, for GW Bush (43), and for John McCain. Now, if some polls are to be believed, there has been some movement toward Romney even though polls also show South Carolinian Republicans to be, on the whole, more conservative than Romney and long confirmed in being disposed not to be very warm to him. Is this movement just another rush to jump on a bandwagon? If so, why? How does it benefit a primary voter who is NOT a political activist to be an anonymous rider on somebody's bandwagon? I've never understood the mentality of rushing towards a perceived winner just because he is perceived to be a winner. What good does that do?

I want to think more highly of South Carolina voters than that. Those voters have a chance this week to reject bandwagonitis and instead show real independence. Let's see if they do.... or if, like sheep to the slaughter, they stumble their way into the Romney corral.

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