The South Carolina GOP announced today the state will hold its first-in-the-South presidential primary on Jan. 21. Florida decided on a Jan. 31 primary date last week, pushing South Carolina to move its primary earlier to maintain its influential position.
"South Carolina Republicans have a thirty year track record of picking the eventual Republican Presidential nominee. We will continue that historic tradition on January 21, 2012," state GOP Chairman Chad Connelly said in a statement.
He also warned candidates not to forgo campaigning in the Palmetto State.
"It will undoubtedly be a spirited campaign to make Barack Obama just the worst ONE term President in American history. We are united in this mission, and any candidate who ignores South Carolina does so at great peril," Connelly said.
It is likely that Florida's decision will continue to have a ripple effect on the presidential primary calendar, pushing Iowa and New Hampshire to move their elections to early January. During the weekend, Nevada Republicans voted to move the party caucuses earlier.