CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – WMBF Political Expert explains why the Iowa Caucuses are important to South Carolina voters.
Dr. Holley Tankersley is an Associate Professor of Politics at Coastal Carolina University. She is also the Political Expert for WMBF News.
Tankersley explains the Iowa Caucuses could affect which candidates are on South Carolina Primary ballots.
"It does impact what our choices are. It narrows our choices... sometimes significantly," she said. In other words, Tankersley expects the Iowa Caucuses, to winnow the field.
"Candidates that don't perform well in Iowa, may not have the steam in their campaign engines to make it to New Hampshire, but particularly South Carolina," she explained.
Tankersley says it's all about momentum with the first three states to vote and if a candidate doesn't do their best in Iowa or New Hampshire… there is a high chance he or she will drop out before South Carolinians vote.
"If they don't do well there either and then they are losing donors, they're losing voter energy and excitement and they decide to drop out because they simply can't afford to stay in the race," Tankersley said.
Tankersley said another telling factor of the Iowa Caucuses, is the structure. She explains it's not an "in and out" individual voting process.
She explains in a caucus, voters must take the time to converse and explain their top candidate picks to fellow citizens and voters.
Tankersley says it becomes a question of, which candidate has lead his or her supporters to physically vote.
"So who has that ground game to get the voters out to the polls, whose voters are truly dedicated…organization on the ground is extremely important, they need to know who is getting out to those caucuses, who's not… and how to get them out," she explained.
Tankersley explains voters will also be watching how these candidates react to doing well or not so well and those reactions could also affect their momentum in this race.