South Carolina is the 2012 Republican GOP primary to watch this year because its the last chance for the anti-Romney candidates to take down Mitt Romney. Most of the 2012 candidates (except Jon Huntsman) knows this and they have been developing their campaign strategy based on this fact. This can be clearly seen with Rick Perry who flew directly to South Carolina and is skipping the New Hampshire Primary.
Each of the of the Anti-Romney candidates also know that after South Carolina, Mitt Romney might very well be unstoppable if he wins that state's primary. Moreover, they also know that South Carolina will be the state where more candidates will withdraw from the 2012 race. I am predicting that Jon Huntsman and Rick Perry will drop out of the race. I am also predicting that Newt Gingrich just to continue his revenge on Mitt Romney. However, if he drops out after South Carolina, I won't be surprised.
The anti-Romney crowd will have a hard time defeating Mitt Romney in South Carolina.
Rick Perry is currently doing poorly in the polls and has failed to gain traction after his performance in the Republican debates early in the campaign season.
Like Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich is also not polling well in South Carolina. He also has a very weak campaign organization structure and is still struggling financially. It will be difficult for him to find the resources he needs to win that state.
Rick Santorum may also have difficulty in South Carolina since he has supported measures that helped Unions in that state and opposed Jim DeMint during the 2010 midterm election. Moreover, Rick Santorum faces several ethical questions about using his position in Congress to benefit himself and others. Finally, Rick Santorum endorsed Mitt Romney during the 2008 election and it will be difficult for him to really go after Mitt Romney. In fact, ever since the GOP 2012 election started, Santorum hasn't gone after Mitt Romney at all.
Despite the fact that Ron Paul enjoys support of loyal supporters, they are not enough to help him win the state. Moreover, nobody wants to vote for a candidate who endorsed the socialist Cynthia McKinney during the 2008 Presidential election and who cannot see himself being in the White House.
All these candidates will have an uphill battle against Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is currently up about 10 points in South Carolina. Mitt Romney also has been endorsed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Getting her endorsement was a big win for Mitt Romney since earlier this year, she declined to give her endorsement until she got to know each of the candidates better. Now, she has predicted that Mitt Romney will win the South Carolina primaries and will join Mitt Romney's campaign. I highly recommend reading her op-ed explaining why she is endorsing Mitt Romney.
Each of the anti-Romney candidates know they can't stop Romney in New Hampshire. They will try to stop Mitt in South Carolina but they will fail. Even if they do prevent Mitt Romney in South Carolina, they still won't be able to stop him when Super Tuesday rolls around.
Try as these candidates might, Mitt Romney will be the Republican 2012 nominee who will boot Obama from the White House and become the next President of the United States.