Buchanan set for fresh defeat
Charleston, South Carolina
Senator Bob Dole is favourite to fend off Pat Buchanan's challenge and win today's pivotal Republican primary in South Carolina, whose importance in the race for the nomination extends well beyond the 37 delegates the state will send to this summer's convention in San Diego.
On the eve of voting, polls put Mr Dole clearly ahead of the former Reagan speech-writer and conservative commentator, suggesting a strong Dole organisation here and the support of the Republican hierarchy may outweigh Mr Buchanan's appeal to the Christian right and and blue-collar workers fearful for their jobs.
Predictably it was Mr Buchanan, with his denunciation of abortion and moral decay, who drew the loudest cheers of the four major candidates at a Christian-coalition rally on Thursday. But Mr Dole avoided disaster, as he did earlier in the day at a televised candidates' debate mainly notable for vicious exchanges between the two lesser contenders here, the publisher Steve Forbes and Lamar Alexander, an ex-governor of Tennessee.
For Mr Dole and Mr Alexander especially, the stakes here are enormous. With his campaign close to the maximum permitted federal-spending ceiling, the Senate majority leader must secure a victory if he is to break clear in New England, New York, and the rest of the South, which hold their own primaries over the next 10 days.
Anything less than a second place here and victory in Georgia on Tuesday would surely doom Mr Alexander, who has yet to win a primary and will run out of money if potential financial backers lose faith. Yet he appears to be running no better than third, and could be out of the contest after "Super Tuesday" on 12 March.
No such worries bother Mr Forbes, who has indicated he will continue right through.Since he is spending his own money, he is not affected by the $37m (pounds 24.6m) limit that may soon hobble Mr Dole's media efforts in major states like New York, Florida and Texas which lie immediately ahead and especially California on 26 March, if the race is not settled by then.
Also this weekend Wyoming is holding caucuses to select the 12 delegates it will send to San Diego.
Again Mr Dole is favourite but Mr Forbes could make a showing in this traditionally anti-government and libertarian Western state.
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, PC World, GAME and Argos
Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Michael Brown shooting: Driver smashes into crowd as protests erupt across the US during a second night of unrest
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...
£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...
£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...