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. Louis

    Romney is a moderate and therefore the only GOP candidate that will appeal to the independents in the general election. Without the support of the independents the GOP is doomed to fail against Obama.

    January 15, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. J. Wearins

    I don't trust any of the republican canidates. we need some who is not affraid to speak the truth like Ross Perot now there is a man who would tell it like he saw it. the plain truth and if you don't believe it just look it up for yourself. I think the U.S. is going to be in trouble no matter who wins out of this bunch of canidates.

    January 15, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. SkyKing

    Huntsman is best. I didn't expect that South Carolina had such intelligence for its main newspaper to see that.
    However, Romney will win the SC primary, and the Republican nomination.
    People who still chafe at a minority race president will vote for Romney in November.
    So will some others who genuinely disagree with Obama's perspective and policies to execute laws made by Congress (that's what the executive branch does).
    As a moderate Republican running for election as a Democrat, Obama will most likely win re-election in November.

    January 15, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. Vic

    Right. (there is too much anti-Romney in the air for him to win; not even a polarized situation.)

    January 15, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. Vic

    Ron Paul will crush Romney as an Independent.

    January 15, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  6. Namejkane

    You teapublican losers have no chance againest Obama, time to clean house of republican trash!!!

    January 15, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. polycarp_pio

    Even if Ron Paul was the nominee I dont believe the electorial college would support him, I know they are bound by oath but they would find some way to wiggle out of it. We need to get rid of the electorial college and go by the popular vote , it is the fairest system to third party candidates, we need to end this 2 party dominated system. Just my 2 cents. PP

    January 15, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. arlindsay

    Ha! Every politician has to boost his own state's primary/caucus as "Decisive".

    January 15, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. Matt

    That's fine, the voters of SC have the right to vote whomever they want. I still refuse to vote Romney.

    So if he is the GOP nominee, I will be stuck voting third party again this time. The GOP Establishment has been warned that a lot of evangelicals will defect if Romney is the pick; they have nobody but themselves to blame when Romney loses to Obama.

    January 15, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  10. ARTRaveler

    It is obvious that we need regional primaries if we plan on anointing candidates only after 3 primaries of three totally non-typical states.

    January 15, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Ann

    Who cares what Lindsay Grahamnesty says. Here's a prediction:
    Mitt Romney is going to thrown all of his political weight behind Rick Santorum for the GOP nomination.

    January 15, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Data Driven

    Wire Palladin wrote:

    "Mittens has already been chosen by the Kochs and Rove, so it is over. Actually, the republican primary has been over for six months."

    This is a correct assessment. The only other candidate the GOP Establishment was even remotely interested in was Pawlenty, but he never caught fire.

    And here's a question for the Paul-Bots: If Paul can't beat Romney in Iowa, NH, or S.C., how can he beat Obama? Republicans clearly don't like him all that much, based on the results of the two contests thus far as well as the current S.C. polling (he's 3rd in most surveys). I can tell you that Democrats don't like him either. The best you Paul-Bots can hope for is that he'll have enough delegates next September to force a change to the Republican Party Platform at their convention, e.g. returning to the gold standard.

    Both the media and Ron Paul fans continue to insist that this is still a contest, but the Republican bosses decided on Romney as soon as Pawlenty stepped out of the race.

    January 15, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. clarke

    Well if Mitt is the one, why wait until the 21st for the vote. Just call it and get it over with. He has everyone he needs in his pocket by either money or promises. This is not the right way to do things. Thank goodness for the general election. This is no way to run a railroad. I will be voting for Obama.

    January 15, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  14. Harry Baxter

    "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"

    Mitt was not forced to do anything. Lying is lying, and pretending to be something that you aren't is one of the biggest lies. At least Ron Paul is honest. Mitt could have done the same thing, and run as a 3rd Party Conservative Democrat or Moderate Republican, and instead, he cemented his reputation as a fake with a large segment of the American populace.

    January 15, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. willie floyd

    I continue to think Romney should reveal his tax returns. I also believe the companies in SC that he dealt with at Bain Capital should be disclosed. These are things that could certainly affect voters decisions.

    January 15, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  16. Killdeer

    To T'sah from Virginia:
    Thank you for your comments. You have a complete grasp of the subject matter and your comments are always welcome and insightful

    January 15, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. Alex

    Romney – more of the same much like Obama. My hope is in Ron Paul

    January 15, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  18. VoteRonPaul12

    I have voted Republican all my life. I am voting and actively campaigning for Ron Paul.

    There's no difference between Obama, Romney, Gingrich, Santorum. They are all big government guys who have no interest in public service. No interest in smaller government. No interest in cutting back spending. They simply want to advance their own personal wealth and power by directing money and power to their particular constituency.

    I'll vote for Paul and carry THE MESSAGE until we win. I'ts about the message not the man.

    Ron Paul 2012

    January 15, 2012 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. Romney is going to Win every Single State.

    Sweeping the Primaries.

    January 15, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  20. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Thank you, Senator Graham, for advising the remaining 47 states and the District of Columbia that our votes are not needed in selecting the Republican nominee. You saved us a bunch of time and all of those Corporate "persons" from having to spend more money selecting the final nominee.

    January 15, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  21. CNew

    Don't crown MITT yet.
    1. ONLY 8 votes made him win Iowa and it is not certified yet.
    2. NH is one of the most liberal states in the Union..not typical heartland/southern voters
    3. Mitt has tons to spend..Santorum doing great on a shoestring.
    4. Perry will drop and Santorum will pick up that base
    5. Santorum recently got backing of Christian coalition...we like our guns/Bibles here in the south

    January 15, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. JJ

    ....and Romney will then become the next candidate to be ripped to shreds in November.

    Really, folks. This looser got smackdowned by McSame. McSame got turned into a tiny pool of protoplasm by Obama. And Obama's new campaign logo is "You. Can't. Touch. This." We're talking a smackdown of biblical proportions. The parting of the Red Sea will sound like a ripple in pond scum compared to what will be left of Romney. 🙂

    January 15, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  23. CBR

    That is why this primary system is not fair. Two or three states hold primaries or caucuses and the decision is made. What about he rest of the people who would like an opportunity to vote in a primary? All of us in other states are supposed to accept this candidate.

    What a mistake for hte country. The primary system needs to be overhauled soon. Meanwhile, our votes are not being counted.

    January 15, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  24. TJeff1776

    Romney is head and shoulders above the others in terms of business experience, morals, and public relations.
    The "Grinch" has the morals of an alley cat and NO business experience. Excepting Ron Paul that has a medical background, the others are strictly political talking heads and will NEVER in a millions years stand up against Obama.
    And the writer THOMAS above....LOL....how do you avoid the draft, like Newt, when NO draft exists and the U.S.
    now has an all-volunteer military. Most of these anti-Romney people find fault for the sake of finding fault.

    January 15, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  25. constrain

    Bottom line ... Mitt is creepy. No vote from me.

    Obama 2012!

    January 15, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
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