Thompson last appeared in South Carolina on September 10th.
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (CNN) - On Wednesday, former Sen. Fred Thompson will make his first trip to South Carolina since his presidential campaign debuted here more than one month ago.
The visit comes at a crucial time for Thompson. Though he continues to lead polls here along with former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, the state holds special meaning for Thompson, the only leading candidate who is a southerner. That heritage helps Thompson in South Carolina, but it also puts extra pressure on Thompson to do well in the primary, whose winner has gone on to win the Republican nomination in every election since 1980.
It doesn't help matters that he is also having trouble gaining traction in New Hampshire. On Tuesday, Dan Hughes, one of Thompson’s top advisors there, said Thompson is running a "token" campaign in the Granite State and announced he was defecting to Sen. John McCain’s campaign.
Thompson also needs to recapture some of the momentum here from his debut appearances in early September. By most accounts, his two campaign stops in South Carolina after formally entering the race were far more raucous and well-received than those in Iowa and New Hampshire. But some Republicans here say that in taking more than a month to return to the early voting state with his strongest support, Thompson may have missed a chance to cement a stronger lead.
Thompson will meet with supporters at a restaurant in the coastal town of Mount Pleasant in the morning, then head south for two meet-and-greets in Bluffton.
It's Thompson's first visit to South Carolina's Lowcountry since he entered the race.
- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby