In a race that seems increasingly likely to go to Mitt Romney, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly defended the relevance of his state's primary.
Speaking on C-SPAN’s Newsmakers Sunday morning, Connelly said South Carolina is both the last opportunity candidates have to break out and the most important state in the primary calendar.
“[South Carolina] is the last chance for anybody no matter who you are,” he said.
As the third state in the nation to vote, South Carolina has traditionally been crucial to the primary process. But Romney’s win in Iowa and his heavy lead in New Hampshire have started chatter about the relevance of later-voting states.
Connelly cited South Carolina’s inexpensive media markets as one reason the state offers opportunities. “Anybody can come here and compete,” he said. Following South Carolina, the candidates move on to Florida, where advertising is much more expensive.
Connelly also said South Carolina offers a truly representative mix of Republican voters. “We really do bring the first cross-sectional blend of the Republican party in,” he said.