The last five polls from S.C. average out to:
Yes, all these polls are pre-Michigan and there may be some movement before Saturday but all that has happened so far is that Iowa legitimized Huckabee, New Hampshire brought McCain back to life, and Michigan gave their hometown boy some much-needed mojo back. In recent days, the major movement in S.C. polls has been Fred Thompson in the upward direction -- at Huckabee's expense.
The responsible assessment is that Republicans head to South Carolina with a fairly even field of candidates. Nobody has run away with the race. Three or four have a shot at winning the primary and all have a shot at the nomination if the dominoes fall just right.
Frankly, I'm glad. I don't think rank-and-file Republican voters are anywhere close to ready to settle on a standard-bearer for the next year. If anything, Republicans are saying, Whoa, not so fast guys. Most of the Republicans we've sent to Washington D.C. recently have fallen very short of our expectations. We hope you don't mind if we -- actual Republican voters -- take a few extra moments to think this through.