In SC Primary, It's Values vs. Defense Voters

Huckabee, McCain divide GOP in state rich in churches, military
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2008 12:45 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., arrives at a campaign event in the parking lot of Alex's Restaurant in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Friday, Jan. 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The pastor and the POW have exposed a deep divide in the South Carolina GOP, reports Politico, with the national security faithful on one side and diehard social conservatives on the other. Ahead of this weekend’s primary, Mike Huckabee is traveling to churches and John McCain is dispatching teams of veterans on a tour; the two have been trading the frontrunner position.

The state is tied for highest church attendance levels and has one of the largest military and veteran populations in the country. "If this vote comes down to the appearance of a social conservative to someone who is just national security, there’s no doubt that Mike Huckabee can win," one backer argues. Countering that argument is McCain's slogan: "Best prepared to lead from Day One.”