Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – In a sign of his confidence across the early state playing field, Mitt Romney will leave New Hampshire and campaign in South Carolina on Thursday.
Two GOP sources informed CNN of travel plans on Monday, the eve of the Iowa caucuses.
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Romney will make two stops along the South Carolina coast, where voters tend to care more about Romney-friendly fiscal and military issues rather than social ones.
With Romney currently far ahead of his Republican rivals in New Hampshire, several of his opponents look to be shifting their time and resources south to the more socially-conservative Palmetto State, which holds its primary on Jan. 21.
But a crowded primary fight in South Carolina could boost Romney's chances there by dividing the conservative vote.
Arizona Sen. John McCain – like Romney, not exactly a favorite son of conservative activists - won the South Carolina primary in 2008 with a slim plurality.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has decided to skip the New Hampshire primary contest, aside from two debate appearances next weekend, opting to campaign exclusively in South Carolina after Iowa.
Perry announced Monday that he will barnstorm through every part of South Carolina starting the morning after the caucuses.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, riding high after a late surge in Iowa, plans to campaign in both states before New Hampshire votes on Jan. 10.
"We are not only going to New Hampshire this week, we are going to South Carolina," Santorum adviser John Brabender told CNN. "If you look at the schedule that Rick Santorum keeps, it's double what the other candidates do, so it gives us the ability to do both, with a that kind of energy and stamina."
"We are running a national campaign not just a regional campaign, as the Perry camp and others have apparently decided to do," he added. "We will be in both places later this week."
The campaigns of Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have signaled that they intend to head to New Hampshire after Iowa.
Like Perry, Michele Bachmann plans to bypass New Hampshire and head to South Carolina, unless her campaign falters badly in Iowa and she is forced to abandon her bid.