Over at NRO, Jim Geraghty has a smart piece on the differences between the heavily evangelical states of Iowa and South Carolina. Iowa is more populist, less hawkish, and and more receptive to candidates who emphasize social issues while South Carolina has a religious right that is more divided, more integrated into the party establishment, and more hawkish on issues of national defense.
Some of this is slightly oversimplified, but it is definitely true that Iowa has tended to be where socially conservative candidates have peaked while South Carolina is where the party establishment has circled the wagons against insurgent candidates. Since 1988, S.C. is essentially where George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and George W. Bush won the GOP nomination, while Iowa has been the best state for Pat Robertson, Alan Keyes (and Steve Forbes), and, if present trends continue, possibly Mike Huckabee.
There is a socially conservative majority to be had in South Carolina. It will be interesting to see if Huckabee succeeds where Pats Robertson and Buchanan failed.
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