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Video: State GOP chairman emphasizes that South Carolinians "can't be put in a box by the pollsters and the national media."

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South Carolina primary ‘wide open’ says State GOP chairman

Video: State GOP chairman emphasizes that South Carolinians “can’t be put in a box by the pollsters and the national media.”

COLUMBIA, S.C. — One of the few Republicans in South Carolina who is remaining steadfastly neutral in Saturday’s presidential primary told HUMAN EVENTS that the race is “wide open” and that the historical independence of Palmetto State voters means “we can’t be put in a box by the pollsters and the national media.”

In an exclusive interview with HUMAN EVENTS hours before the voting is set to begin, GOP State Chairman Chad Connelly — who under party bylaws must be neutral in the contested primary — said that polls and surveys showing different GOP candidates “were probably good for about an hour ago, but we can change our minds.”

(Article continues below.)

“We South Carolinians pride ourselves on our fierce independence,” Connelly told us, “Remember, our great-great-great grandfathers fired on the flag at Fort Sumter [in Charleston, the events considered by history the first shots fired in the Civil War].”

Connelly also cited what he considered three of the key groups within the South Carolina Republican Party — “social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and pro-military conservatives” — and pointed out that there was no consensus among any of the three over which of the GOP contenders to support. 

“This is a good blend of what the party is comprised of here,” said the party chieftain, “and support among each group is spread out pretty evenly among the candidates.”  He specifically referred to evangelical conservatives — of which he said proudly “I am one” — and noted that 60 percent of likely primary voters are “self-identified evangelical Christians.”

“But every one of the candidates has significant support in that community and among its leaders,” Connelly said, “You can’t put people in a box.”

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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