One week to Iowa caucus, 25 days to "First in the South" primary

We're less than a month away from the "First in the South" South Carolina Republican primary. It's also just a week to the Iowa caucuses.

While no clear front-runner has been able to hold the top spot in the Republican presidential field for long in Iowa, in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich has been leading the polls.

"This race is nowhere near from over," says Johnnie Bellamy, chairman of the Horry County Republican Party.

The stage is being set over the next month in Myrtle Beach. Gingrich, Romney, Perry, Bachmann, Santorum, and Hunstman are just some who have made their campaign stops through Grand Strand already this year.

Bellamy says we can expect to see much more of them. In the form of campaign ads, local offices, signs, and a presence at the GOP debate at the Myrtle Beach convention center on January 16th.

"We'll have the {Iowa caucuses winner}, we'll have the New Hampshire primary winner and so however that plays out if someone sweeps those two and is looking to south carolina the debate will be a win or break for any of those candidates," Bellamy said.

For decades, every Republican candidate who has won South Carolina has clinched the party's nomination. Bellamy says the debate here will be a key opportunity for voters to make up their mind.

She says they are expecting thousands to turn out for the debate.

"I think we sold over a thousand {tickets} over the Christmas holidays."

There are various ways to get tickets to the debate. Debate volunteers who complete a three hour shift are will get a free general admission ticket to the debate. They're required to attend a meeting Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 6:00pm at the Sheraton. You can also find information here about buying tickets or being placed in a lottery.