John McCain dashed Mike Huckabee’s hopes of a strong showing in the first Southern primary with a big victory in South Carolina on Saturday. McCain famously lost a nasty contest with George W. Bush there eight years ago. By contrast, Mike Huckabee said his rival’s campaign was “civil and good and decent.”

Mitt Romney gained an easy win Saturday in the Nevada caucuses. Victories for two GOP candidates in one day mean the Republican race remains unpredictable.


Washington Post:

McCain (Ariz.) opened his victory speech in Charleston by alluding to that loss. “It took us a while, but what’s eight years among friends?” he said, a big smile crossing his face.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, looking for a victory in the first Southern primary of the 2008 nomination battle, finished second to McCain, but not getting a victory in this conservative state is a blow to his underdog hopes of winning the GOP nomination.

Earlier in the day in Nevada, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney easily won the Republican caucuses. It was his second victory in five days and kept alive a candidacy that was on life support after early losses in Iowa and New Hampshire. Romney finished fourth in South Carolina.

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