81
      Wednesday
      88 / 73
      Thursday
      86 / 73
      Friday
      84 / 72

      Democrats watching ever-changing Republican landscape

      Leading up to the 2012 Presidential election, most of the political talk centers around who will win the Republican nomination. As we get closer to the all-important South Carolina primary and a debate, Democrats are watching closely.

      At the Horry County Democratic Party headquarters in Conway, there's no mistaking where their allegiance lies. Several pictures of President Barack Obama are hung up on the walls as well as the expected stuffed donkey.

      "We believe in our President and what he has tried to achieve thus far without much help," explains Doris Potter-Hickman, secretary for the organization. "We as Democrats are constantly cleaning up. So he's in the process of cleaning up somebody's else's mess."

      Along with Potter-Hickman, self-described political junkie and Democrat Sally Howard is watching the Republican candidates closely. She even plans to attend Monday's debate in Myrtle Beach hosted by Fox News. Howard says what stands out for her this election round is the seemingly constant change in who is the frontrunner.

      "I think a lot of voters are dissatisfied and undecided that they change their minds. So what happens this month in South Carolina, a few more weeks later in Florida, or somewhere, it could still be different," says Howard. "I'm obviously enjoying it. They're doing our work. They're beating up on each other, digging and putting out everything possible against each other, which basically are doing the work for the President."

      In South Carolina, we don't register by political party, so the primary is open to anyone, regardless of party affiliation. You might think Democrats will head to the polls in droves to try and ensure the nominee is a candidate who won't be able to beat President Barack Obama, but Howard says, "If you were to vote in the Republican primary you make yourself ineligible to participate in the Democratic nominating process. So no, I will not be voting in the Republican primary."

      While the Jan. 28 Democratic primary/caucus is largely symbolic, Potter-Hickman will be happy to cast her ballot.

      "He (President Obama) needs to know his support base. When they go in and they sign, that gives him the momentum and drive to work harder and get back in there so he can help all of the country," she adds.