We're Not In Iowa Any Longer...

Jonathan Garthwaite
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Posted: Jan 18, 2008 12:00 PM
Perhaps evangelical voters are the most motivated and will brave rain, sleet, or snow to vote BUT we're not in Iowa where Huckabee beat McCain by 30% among evangelicals.  In New Hampshire and Michigan, his advantage nearly disappeared and a new Fox News poll shows more parity between the candidates in this key voter demographic.

Like in Iowa, about 6 of 10 likely voters in the South Carolina Republican primary are Evangelical Christians, and 23 percent of this group says they are backing Huckabee and 22 percent McCain, followed by Romney at 16 percent.

McCain is helped by the fact that only about one of three voters say it is important for them to share their candidate’s religious beliefs. A 66 percent majority says it is not important.

About half of Republicans in South Carolina are looking for a candidate who "stands up" for what he believes (47 percent), while others want a "true conservative" (21 percent) or a candidate who has the "right experience" (19 percent).

For voters saying the most important quality is for a candidate to "stand up" for his beliefs, 26 percent back McCain and 23 percent Huckabee. Those wanting a "true conservative" are most likely to be supporting Huckabee (26 percent) and Romney (24 percent), followed by Fred Thompson (16 percent). Nearly half of those wanting a candidate with the right experience are backing McCain.