S.C. predictions: If Romney wins, he's the nominee
January 15th, 2012
11:29 AM ET
11 years ago

S.C. predictions: If Romney wins, he's the nominee

(CNN) – Two influential conservative politicians in South Carolina predicted Sunday that Mitt Romney will effectively wrap up the Republican presidential nomination if he wins the upcoming Palmetto State primary.

Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Tim Scott, both Republicans, told NBC's "Meet the Press" that a Romney victory in South Carolina on January 21 would end the suspense after the former Massachusetts governor won the first two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

"If for some reason he's not derailed here and Mitt Romney wins South Carolina, no one's ever won all three, I think it should be over," Graham said. "That would be quite a testament to his ability as a candidate and a campaigner."

On the same program, Scott said: "If Romney wins South Carolina, I think the game is over."

The comments followed a meeting of influential Christian conservative leaders over the weekend that resulted in an endorsement of former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum in an effort to prevent a split among voters on the religious right.

Scott, who won his 2010 election with heavy backing from the tea party movement, said the impact of the evangelical vote - a typically large voting bloc in conservative South Carolina - will be "huge" on Saturday. However, he added that Romney will benefit if evangelical Christian voters are divided between Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, as polls have indicated.

"It's hard to find a single candidate that rallies all of the Christian voters in South Carolina and therefore that splintered approach will probably have a major impact in the state's primary," Scott said.

Also see:

Group backing Gingrich hits Romney for health care law and Bain record

Romney gives cash to struggling supporter at rally

Romney super PAC pummels Santorum and Gingrich by mail

Tim Scott, the ultimate undecided voter

Filed under: 2012 • Lindsey Graham • South Carolina • Tim Scott
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    Sorry folks, this is one Christian that cannot vote for a mormon. Joseph Smith? Get real. Really, get real.

    January 15, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  2. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Time to flush Graham, Boehner, McConnell, Santorum, Cantor, Ryan and all Tea Party GOP morons down the toilet of history.

    Obama-Biden in 2012!

    January 15, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Time to Mute Romney.

    January 15, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. timz

    Even if a single candidate received every single vote in all three contests it would be absurd to anoint him (or her) as the candidate. Taken together, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina represent less than 3% of the U.S. population–and, though you could do it, you'd have to work pretty hard to come up with a less representative 3%.

    When it comes to our political system the idea seems to be "if it's broke, don't fix it."

    January 15, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. NC

    We should have the first primaries in the largest diverse states in the country. It appears we are losing our democracy. This is no longer The United States Of America I know.

    January 15, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  6. Whatever

    Well let's get on to the general election race... to heck with the other states.

    January 15, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. DENNA

    Mitt is going to be the nominee. He was always the one. The rest of the GOP field look like they are either crazy or going there really, really fast. In any case, Obama will win again.

    January 15, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. older than dirt

    Romney may very well be the Republican running for president this fall. However I a conservative christian Republican will not vote for this fraud. . I will not knowingly turn this country over to a RINO and I will never vote for a non christian for president.

    The country is broke people and you can't fix it with a closet liberal like Romney, Please don't waste your vote.


    January 15, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. Terry

    It is very sad that a Moderate (Closet Democrat) Republican is the host of the Conservative Party in America. Romney will self destruct when faced with questions he must answer honestly. The GOP made huge mistakes in 2008, and guess what, the GOP is about to make another mistake in 2012. Mitt Romney has not presented one single new idea for job creation in America. If you are going to claim you know how to create jobs, don't wait for the November Election, start talking about your ideas now.

    January 15, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. Jane

    GonzoinHouston-I completely disagree. Im out here in CT and people are definitely rooting for Romney. I think the entire country is ready for Change, and i mean real change

    January 15, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    While it's not at all surprising that SC would go for the latest shiny neocon robot GWB 2,0, the desperate pro-Robot spin from the Rove machine begs the question of how scared they must be of someone like Paul gaining traction. Rove's desperation to annoint Romney this early means he must be pretty scared about how bad things could look in a couple of months. Go Paul.

    January 15, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. The LONE OKIE

    The conservative movement is dead, Mitt is a moderate or even liberal. Anyway, he'll put America in a "caste system".

    January 15, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. oneSTARman

    I THINK We Can All Agree That there is Only One Candidate that REALLY Matters in The South Carolina Race. We KNOW That There Is ONLY ONE Red White and Blue Eagled American who deserves this Nomination: STEVEN COLBERT

    January 15, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. A Southern Lady

    Mitt Romeny is a good and decent man who has been forced to become someone he is not by the far-right evangelicals of the once-proud Republican party. The behavior of the Republican candidates against each other can only be described as shameful. And these are the loving Christians of our country? I have listened to the debates, read everything I could find to further understand each candidate, their thinking and their visions for this country. I will voting for President Obama, the most educated, qualified and trusted man in this race.

    January 15, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. TXJim

    A win by Mittens will sew up Obama's reelection as the base of the GOP will not support a Magic Underpants wearings, flip flopping, non Christian by staying away from the polls in November.

    January 15, 2012 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. GI Joe

    They'll nominate him to lose for the republicans.

    Then the good ones can come back and enter AFTER President Obama has cleaned up Ws failures for 8 years

    January 15, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Jane

    @Southern Lady: While I agree whole heartedly with your comment I feel compelled to correct the thesis in your first sentence. Mr. Romney has not been 'forced' to do or say Anything. He is simply doing and saying whatever he thinks he needs to think or say in order to get votes. He is completely ethics-free and the poster child for cold hearted opportunist. Ayn Rand would have Loved him (and taken him for all of his money, heh).

    January 15, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Romney , five sons who avoided military service.

    Why to go South Carolina !

    January 15, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. lincmell

    Reading some of the comments here makes me wonder what else is required for the US Constitution to disintegrate. I see a society that is supposedly modern in relative terms yet it is plauged with broken families, selfishness-greed, hungry homeless people, countless foster children and an aging population. What's my point? I don't need Romney to give me a job. I pride myself as a self-starter and motivated from within. I have always been employed from the time I had arrived as a new immigrant. Unfortunately many who born and grown up here lack that self confidence, Romney enables them to fulfill their potential. For that very reason I support him. All other needs in their life will become a reality as they build their self-confidence and that is the true spirit of leadership.

    January 15, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    Where's Romney's birth certificate? He hasn't shown it to us to prove that he's eligible to be a candidate for president.

    January 15, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. pockaleelee

    IT's OVER??? REALLY??? So all the republicans in the other 47 states have ABSOLUTELY NO SAY???? If that's the case, that is what is wrong with the primary system

    January 15, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Dee

    Oh boy, all those Conservative Christians who want Santorum will love this. NOT!!! I love it.

    January 15, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. where's pat robertson

    If Romney is the Repub nominee–might as well fo what the Univ of Carolina basketball team this past weekend. Walkoff the court and waive the white flag.

    January 15, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Joe Smith is my motel 6 name

    And don't mormons worhip some guy named Joey Smith? Strange prophet faith in that one. Maybe Donnie and Marie will get cabinet posts too.

    January 15, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Mike Botwin

    In other words, if Romney wins the S.C. primary, Barack Obama will be re-elected by a landslide.

    January 15, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
1 2 3 4