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By Bill Pickle

All eyes have focused on The First In The South  Primary.

Candidates are zig-zagging across South Carolina. County GOP activists are just as busy as candidate staffs trying to schedule events, finding locations in their communities that will accommodate the numbers of citizens looking for that little bit of clarification to support their voting decision.

As one Florence citizen told me just yesterday, ” I am leaning toward Santorum, but I really like Gingrich. I need them to knock me off my fence.”

Yesterday, while attending a political event in Conway, I was asked, “Uncle Bill, who are you supporting? I am confused and need some help deciding.”

This morning I have received several text/facebook messages and emails from people (thinking I have the answer) wanting my opinion of the “debate”.

The South Carolina Primary comes only eleven days after the New Hampshire Romney-Fest. Romney should had a cakewalk in New Hampshire. The battle was for who would come in second and third.  It’s for that reason the candidates all but forfeited their campaigns in the North.

Despite what they say, the candidates are watching the polls. They realize the importance of South Carolina. In my humble opinion, if your candidate leaves South Carolina with less than 15% of the vote, he should pack his bags and go home. Take the high road and let those candidates who are truly in the running take care of the business at hand.  If you are hoping for a miracle, the bucket of miracles is almost empty. If you, as a candidate, disagree with this suggestion, go on to Florida and let the Gatorland voters eat you alive. Then bail!

Before the SC Primary, comes the SCGOP Experience in Myrtle Beach. This coming weekend, January 14-17, 2012, there will be activities day and night. The two big events will be the first candidate forum for those seeking to be the the first Congressman to represent the NEW 7th Congressional District and the Myrtle Beach GOP Debate.

After this weekend, you have only 4 days to make your choice for before going into the voting booth. I’ll be honest and say, while I am pretty sure who I will be giving my vote, I am part of the 42-48% group who will make the decision in the booth.

I do know one thing for certain. I will be pulling out my BS Strainer and looking at the issues. I will be analyzing  how the candidates addressed questions and issues. The person’s religion, past marital issues, whether he’s the best debater, whether  he’s an insider or an outsider is not a concern. If the man speaks Chinese or Texican, if he is older than dirt, wears V-neck sleeveless sweaters, cowboy boots,  uses Vitalis or styling gel in his hair will not be a qualifier for my vote.

The person who receives my vote will be the one who gives me a clear stand on issues, offers some ideas on how to get out of our current mess and who I truly believe can beat the character currently occupying the White House.

Sounds simple doesn’t it. Oh, take this into consideration. It may be late in the game; however, it’s still possible another person or two could throw his/her hat in the ring. Lord, help us!

Bill Pickle is a long time member of the “Silent Majority” and writes at the popular South Carolina political blog In The Pickle BarrelCross-posted with Permission

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