South Carolina’s long-held outsider sentiment is troublesome for establishment Republicans – Los Angeles Times

If the Republican establishment was looking for a comeback or a last stand, they could have landed in a more hospitable state than South Carolina. The anti-establishment fervor that has gripped the rest of the country in recent years came earlier here — decades earlier, by some estimates.

Going into Saturday’s GOP primary in South Carolina, three establishment candidates — Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — share the support of about a third of the electorate here. And more than 60% of South Carolina Republicans are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the Republican congressional leaders, according to a Monmouth University poll taken this week.

“You can trace that rebellious strain all the way back to firing on Ft. Sumter,” said David Woodard, a Republican consultant and political science professor at Clemson University, referring to the battle where the opening shots of the Civil War were fired as South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. “They don’t want to be told what to do.”


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