A top Republican advisor is predicting that the Palmetto State could turn blue once again this year, however.
In a recent state-by-state breakdown, Karl Rove listed President Obama to have a three-percent lead in South Carolina over Mitt Romney, the apparent Republican candidate.
The Republican political consultant and former Deputy Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush includes the state with five others in a “toss-up” category.
Rove doesn’t list a source for his recent state-by-state estimates, but refers to poll results compiled by Real Clear Politics for a nationwide status.
Obama has led Romney in practically every national poll conducted over the last 15 months, according to Real Clear Politics. However, its few South Carolina polls that included a head-to-head contest between the two show the Republican candidate in the lead.
The most recent of such South Carolina polls listed by Real Clear Politics was conducted in October 2011, in which did Romney take 46 percent to Obama’s 40, leaving 14 percent undecided.
Another aggregate poll result source, David Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, shows Romney’s lead over Obama in South Carolina to only be 44 to 43, and includes a more recent poll from January 2012 in its compilation.
The Obama campaign appears to regard the state as winnable, having opened a local campaign headquarters in North Charleston last October.
In a November interview on the South Carolina Radio Network, Ben LaBolt, press secretary for the president’s re-election campaign, said “If we’ve got supporters in a state, even if it’s a traditionally red state, they ought to have the means to help the campaign if they want to get involved, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.”
Adding weight to the state in this year’s election, South Carolina gained a delegate, rising to nine.
John Kennedy won South Carolina’s delegates in 1960 with 51 percent of the vote. It wasn’t until 1976 before another Democrat, Jimmy Carter of neighboring Georgia, won the state. The Republican nominee won in South Carolina every election since.
John McCain led the state in 2008 with 54 percent of the vote. Obama had a majority of votes from Charleston County, however.