Romney Skips South Carolina for Nevada

Mitt Romney has decided to move on to Nevada, writing off his chances of winning South Carolina.

Just a day after his big win in Michigan, Mitt Romney ceded South Carolina to his rivals.

“This is a state I’d expect that Sen. [John] McCain has pretty well wrapped up,” Romney told reporters at the Sun City Hilton Head Retirement Center in Bluffton. “It would be an enormous surprise if he were unable to win here.”

This is shrewd on two fronts.

First, he’s certainly going to come in no better than third in the Palmetto State, so he might as well move on to a state he can win. The publicly available polling in Nevada consists of one poll showing Romney leading McCain 28-21 and another showing Romney in third place behind McCain and Giuliani, 22-18-15. It’s a caucus, though, so anything can happen and being there is a plus.

Second, while it’s true that McCain has surged in recent South Carolina polls into a consistent lead over Mike Huckabee, it’s hardly a foregone conclusion that he’ll take the state. So, Romney has simultaneously diminished the impact of a McCain victory and increased the agony of defeat.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Public Opinion Polls, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Bob says:

    Nevada has more delegates than SC. I’m not sure why the other candidates thought it deserved to be ignored…. May so Romney counld continue to widen his lead in the delegate count.

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    Anyone know the percentage of Mormons in Nevada? My imperfect recollection says that it will be the highest Mormon percentage of any state so far and that the Mormon church structure would make for a pretty good caucus machine.