Factors that will impact on the primary in the Bible Belt States will be the “religious question” as well as the economy and gun control.
All three are very important in South Carolina especially the status of the economy. South Carolina has been one of if not the state suffering the most from the economic downturn. Romney’s opponents will be hitting at the major job losses in some of the corporation his venture capital group acquired. They will make no mention of the new jobs resulting from the successful ones his group created. All the candidates follow a script stating that they will create jobs, but none have specific programs.
It goes without amplifying that in the more rural states the right to have a weapon is a very sensitive issue. All the candidates must address this issue in some manner.
It is possible that more important that the religious question may be of significant importance. Although in 1960 Kennedy was able to defuse the “Papist fear “and Catholics now can seek office without this being an issue, there is the position taken by some evangelistic Christian movements that Mormons are not Christians. They will use this sentiment to attack Romney and Huntsman.
Although the fact that Gingrich is in his third marriage and his third religion as a new dedicated Catholic probably will not concern most of this group. From past history the “Religious Issue” will become a prominent if only a sub rosa part of all primary election campaigns in these states. This may be especially true in South Carolina which is notorious for its ‘dirty election campaigns”