I invoke my privilege as a blogger to cover an off-topic subject today, namely the South Carolina Republican Primary, which is going on as I type. It’s cold and raining here in the northwest half of the state, great weather for voting because it’s miserable weather for anything else.
There were maybe 2 voters at my local polling place when I and Ms. Conspiracy showed up around 11:30 am. Poll officials asked which primary we wanted to vote in, then laughed. “We have to ask.”
In an unscientific Obama Conspiracy Theories exit poll, 100% of voters responding said that they had voted for Herman Cain (the poll has a 99.99999% margin of error). Other polls show Newt Gingrich in the lead, threatening to turn Romney’s 3-in-a-row sweep into 1-in-a-row (following his loss to Rick Santorum after a recount in Iowa).
What I am most interested to see is just how many South Carolina voters will support Herman Cain, whose aborted campaign has taken on new life since his plastic surgery, skin whitening, and a new message about the influence of Super PAC money in the election. Cain has demonstrated time and time again his ability to draw crowds, such as this appearance on the Washington Capitol Mall. An estimated 3,000 people attended his rally in Charleston, SC, yesterday, compared to maybe 100 who came to hear Newt Gingrich in Spartanburg when I was there. David Horsey of The Los Angeles Times confirms:
Reporting from Charleston, S.C. — Under the looming live oaks at the College of Charleston on Friday, Stephen Colbert delivered a clinic on how to produce a whiz-bang political rally. Significantly, not one of the Republican candidates this year has exhibited the star power to bring off such an extravaganza themselves.
Jon Stewart, director of the Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow Super PAC (informally known as the Definitely Not Coordinating with Stephen Colbert Super PAC), reported a surge in the polls to supporters on Thursday:
LANDLINE COUNTRY, USA – A new poll from The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC and Marist College Institute for Public Opinion shows South Carolina voters having a decided interest in undecided potential candidate Stephen Colbert. Potential voters were so electrified by Colbert, 18% gushed they’d be at least "kinda somewhat likely" to vote for him.
Cain’s popularity skyrocketed when it became known that he was the only candidate in the race not to run attack ads or blanket the state in robot-dialed phone messages.