GREENVILLE, S.C. — Steady and sometimes heavy rain has been drenching most of South Carolina this primary voting day, much to the delight of Ron Paul.
The Texas congressman joked at a campaign stop here Friday evening that some of his staff were praying for less favorable weather to tamp down turnout for those who would vote for other candidates, the implication being that Paul’s supporters would not stay home for any reason.
“When we were flying in [to Greenville], the weather was getting bad, and it was starting to rain, and I thought, is anybody going to show up?” Paul recounted at the Friday rally. “And somebody said, can you doubt that the weather is going to keep them at home?”
“These guys are praying for bad weather tomorrow so that all those other people stay home tomorrow,” Paul said.
Their prayers have been answered. Weather radar shows a wide band of rain moving eastward across the entire state. Whether the poor conditions do indeed hamper turnout remains to be seen. State Republican Party chairman Chad Connelly has predicted a turnout of 460,000 out of 2.7 million registered voters, which would be a three-percent increase over the 2008 primary.
His rally Friday at a warehouse with a leaky roof at the downtown Greenville airport drew several hundred energetic supporters, undaunted by the rain.