UNC Political Analyst: Southern Vote Key In Primaries, Look Ahead to SC

After New Hampshire, South Carolina voters will weigh in with their primary.

With Romney ahead in New Hampshire polling, analysts are looking to South Carolina, home to southern Christian conservatives, for a real contest in the crowded republican field. It could be another test for Romney and his religion and for any republican contender. Political scientists say the southern vote is key to success, a springboard for wins in other republican primaries.

"There are a number of very conservative Christians who are uncomfortable with Mitt Romney being a Mormon." The South has become the essential base of the republican party in this nation, republicans can not win the president without most, if not all, of the southern electoral votes," said UNC Southern Political Analyst Ferrel

That's why both parties chose the South for the national conventions. The democratic party wants to hold onto to the president's win in North Carolina and intends to nominate him in Charlotte. Republicans want to take back Florida and will host their convention in Tampa in late August.

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