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Is South Carolina McCain's <i>"Firewall"</i>?

During the 2000 GOP nomination race, after a shocking upset victory in New Hampshire, John McCain's campaign rode the "Straight Talk Express" bus straight into South Carolina ... and hit a "firewall."


More precisely, his enemies used "push polls" (an unethical method of spreading negative information, under the guise of conducting a scientific poll) to suggest Senator John McCain -- a former POW and American hero -- had fathered an illegitimate black child.

That was then. This is now. Today, John McCain seems to have learned the lesson about South Carolina's ability to derail a campaign. According to The Hill:

“Most of the establishment is for McCain. Most of the establishment last time was for Bush,” said South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, who pledged neutrality in 2000 when he served as state party chairman.

“It’s the old Bush and McCain teams combined,” said McMaster, who said that the senator has been able to consolidate the influential party members who split their allegiances six years ago. “The people who used to sit around the table and decide how much money would be raised for Bush in 2000 and those that sat around the McCain table, which was a smaller table in 2000, are all sitting around this table.”

... Political analysts have described the South Carolina primary as a “conservative firewall” that could give a candidate a decisive edge over rivals.


... After dooming his 2000 candidacy, it would be ironic if the "Palmetto State" once again serves a decisive role, this time, making John McCain the GOP nominee.


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