John McCain, a good man and a genuine American hero, won an unearned victory in South Carolina Jan 19 due to two factors: independent/liberal voters and Fred Thompson.
According to CNN’s exit polls, McCain led all Republicans among pro-choicers, voters born outside South Carolina, all voters who attend church less than once a week, those who are angry with George W Bush, amnesty supporters, political independents, and those who consider themselves political liberals or moderates.
Huckabee, by contrast, was the first choice among pro-lifers, those who attend church more than weekly, natives of South Carolina, those who support deportation of illegal aliens, all voters under age 65 (narrowly), Republicans, and those who consider themselves conservative or very conservative.
“But…” you’re thinking “I thought that South Carolina was a conservative place, full of evangelical Christians and Republicans!” And you’re right. The painful truth will be apparent to those conservatives, evangelicals, and Republicans soon enough: the conservative vote in South Carolina was split by Fred Thompson. That’s right, fabulous Fred siphoned votes off of Mike Huckabee, allowing the liberals, democrats, and transplants to give the win to John McCain.
There’s an interesting and enlightening article about the relationship between Fred Thompson and Mike Huckabee at slate.com: http://slate.com/blogs/blogs/trailhead/archive/2008/01/19/how-much-does-fred-hate-huck.aspx