Reuters: South Carolina in Mind, Republicans Stress Social Stances


A look at what's ahead, after today's voting in New Hampshire:

...Abortion rights and same-sex marriage were among the issues that came up in the ABC News debate at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum led the charge at the ABC News debate, declaring that marriage is a federal issue that should be defined as being between a man and a woman - even though he said in the same breath that the question of same-sex couples to adopt children was a "states rights" issue.

... South Carolina, which holds its primary on January 21, has a heavy concentration of social conservatives who are thought more willing to assess a candidate based on his or her views on abortion or gay marriage.

As in Iowa, where Santorum's campaign sprang to life, about 60 percent of Republican voters in South Carolina typically identify themselves in exit polls as born-again or evangelical Christians. Among that demographic in Iowa, Santorum finished first, with 32 percent support; Romney was at 14 percent, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Republic Life. -- Reuters