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This article is a case study of the influential South Carolina presidential primary. Starting in 1972, primaries and caucuses became the selection process for nominating the major parti) presidential nominees and in 1980 South Carolina was the first southern state to hold its Republicanprimary. The Palmetto State established itself as "First in the South"for casting votes in Democratic and Republican presidential primaries and its early placement on the primary calendar gives it an outsied role in the selection of eventual nominees. We provide an overview of all the Democratic and Republican contests in South Carolina dating back to 1980 and then illustrate the remarkable demographic changes that have recently occurred within these parties' primary electorates. Next, we examine voter preferences among likely 2016 South Carolina primary voters with survey data from the Winthrop Poll. Fast, we conclude with a synopsis of why South Carolina has been and likely will continue to play a pivotal role in presidential nomination contests.

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