Friday, October 21st, 2016

Let the endorsement wars begin


South Carolina Senator DeMint endorsed Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney for president today.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona is favored by Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina’s senior senator.

“I’m writing to ask for your support of Gov. Mitt Romney for President,” DeMint says in the four-page letter. “We must elect a President in 2008 who is up to the task, and I need you to encourage Mitt to run.”

DeMint’s split is seen by some as a move to find a conservative alternative to McCain, but it’s not that much of a surprise. DeMint, who was elected in 2004, held a fundraiser for Romney last year. His support will “shake some money out,” but endorsements don’t win elections, Clemson University political scientist Dave Woodard said.

Here’s where the fun, inside baseball stuff comes in.

DeMint is “splitting not just from Graham, but from Sanford and perhaps leading some of the Bush faction that doesn’t want to go over to McCain,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. McCain “is not conservative enough for many of the conservative Republicans of South Carolina.”

“Some of the Bush people from 2000 don’t want to support McCain no matter what,” Sabato said.

South Carolina is the third contest for delegates for the Republican nomination.

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