In a piece in Politico this week, "Carolina on Jeb's mind: South Carolina may be a firewall for the former Florida governor in 2016," Alex Isenstadt writes (my emphasis):
The first two primary states, Iowa and New Hampshire, present potential challenges to the former governor. Iowa, a caucus state, has in recent years been won by candidates deemed most conservative; New Hampshire is often most friendly to libertarian-minded candidates — someone, perhaps, like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is likely to run.
South Carolina, which is traditionally next in the primary lineup, could be friendlier terrain, people close to Bush say. Its Republican voting pool is larger and more ideologically diverse, and it has long supported Republican presidential contenders seen as most in line with the GOP establishment, including Bob Dole, John McCain and Bush’s brother and father.
(Newt Gingrich, hardly an establishment favorite, won the South Carolina primary in 2012. But go on...)
“It’s his road to the White House,” said Katon Dawson, a former South Carolina Republican Party chairman. “It’s where he rights his ship.”
The guy just announced for president (sort of) this week, and people are already talking about how he "rights his ship"?
If memory serves, the last Republican who conceded Iowa and New Hampshire and counted on a "firewall" was
Early polls showed Giuliani with one of the highest levels of name recognition and support among the Republican candidates. Throughout most of 2007 he was the leader in most nationwide opinion polling among Republicans.
Giuliani's national poll numbers began steadily slipping and his unusual strategy of focusing more on later, multi-primary big states rather than the smaller, first-voting states was seen at risk.
Despite his strategy, Giuliani did compete to a substantial extent in the January 8, 2008 New Hampshire primary, but finished a distant fourth with 9 percent of the vote. Similar poor results continued in other early contests, as Giuliani's staff went without pay in order to focus all efforts on the crucial late January Florida Republican primary . . . On January 29, 2008, Giuliani finished a distant third in the Florida result with 15 percent of the vote, trailing McCain and Romney. Facing declining polls and lost leads in the upcoming large Super Tuesday states, including that of his home New York, Giuliani withdrew from the race on January 30.