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GOP fervor to beat Obama runs strong in South

May 22, 2011 9:24:00 AM - thestate.com
Republicans in this first-in-the-South primary state aren't too enthusiastic about the crop of GOP presidential candidates. They are fired up about defeating President Barack Obama and confident a Republican can.

"I'm telling everyone that worries about the field: Elmer Fudd can win this election," says Ashby Rhame, a Republican from Sumter County.

In this reliably conservative state, if not across the country, the GOP exudes optimism about making Obama a one-term president, no matter the Republican nominee.

The anti-Obama fervor, or fury depending on who's asked, has energized and helped unite a Republican Party that three years ago was disillusioned and fractured after the Democrat's victory. Obama has turned into a common enemy for the party, bridging divides between the Republican establishment and tea partyers demanding purity in their candidates.

Is the drive to beat Obama so great that Republicans will support a nominee who may have serious flaws or doesn't strictly adhere to conservative principles?

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)