McCain Supporters Exuberant, Confident
By Juliet Eilperin
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- "Call it! Call it! Call it!" they cried at Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) headquarters, as they watched FOX News' campaign coverage on giant television screens in the hall.
While no media organization is willing to announce the winner of the South Carolina GOP primary yet, McCain's backers said they remain confident he will defeat former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, largely because of the fact that former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson ran stronger than expected here.
"The only thing I'm saying is thank God for Fred Thompson, which is taking votes away from the ultra-conservatives which would have gone to Mike Huckabee," said Marvin Katzen, a supporter who came to The Citadel, the state's military college, to cheer on McCain.
Katzen, who works as a tour guide in Charleston, said it was just a matter of political geography: people upstate voted "on narrow issues" such as abortion, while voters in the Low Country "have a broader perception of what is important for the country, beyond South Carolina."
"You better not have any upstate friends," observed James Diaz-Barriga, another McCain supporter who happened to be standing next to Katzen.
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