This afternoon, Mitt Romney kicks off the South Carolina leg of his campaign with an event in Charleston, where he’ll join Governor Nikki Haley and a host of supporters. Given the extent to which the state is defined by its deep conservatism, Romney isn’t in the best position; his moderate reputation makes him an easy target for attacks from the right. But, if his newest TV ad is any indication, Romney plans to get around that with a straightforward pitch on the economy, targeted toward conservative frustration with the National Labor Relations Board, and the fight to open a Boeing plant in the Palmetto State. Take a look:
This has been airing with some regularity since yesterday, when it debuted. With the attacks on “union stooges” and the declaration that the president’s economic policies are guided by politics, Romney is hoping to tap into conservative anti-union sentiment and the state’s strong disdain for Obama. What’s more, it could work. South Carolina prides itself on being the state that picks presidents and has gone with the establishment choice in Republican primaries since 1980. The rise of the Tea Party complicates this, but as long as the right-wing vote is divided between multiple candidates, Romney is well positioned to walk away with a narrow—but real—victory.