Fight for the Party Faithful

The Baptist-heavy state that derailed McCain in 2000 is swooning over Pastor Huckabee

Brooks Kraft / Corbis

Huckabee's win in Iowa has boosted his chances in South Carolina

There's a reason they call it the "Firewall." From its inception, the South Carolina Republican primary was meant to douse the flames of political passion. The late GOP strategic wizard Lee Atwater designed the thing to give conservative Southerners a say in the presidential process and offer churchgoers a power line to the White House. Then he scheduled it right after Iowa and New Hampshire, the ideal spot for the party establishment to suppress an insurgent candidate's momentum.

So it was South Carolina that stopped Bob Dole in 1988, handing the nomination to the Establishment candidate, George Bush the father. Then,...

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