Upset: McCain wins South Carolina county's straw poll

He trailed Giuliani this morning, 158-116, with 81 of 92 precincts reporting. Final tally: McCain 164, Rudy 162.

Those last 11 districts must be where the local media lives.

Divining trends from a single local poll taken a year and a half before the election is stupid, but so is divining truths about Barack Obama’s “blackness” from the fact that his ancestors owned slaves and that’s not stopping anyone. We’re still a year away from the primaries; the press needs something to write about. Voila: the social-con tea leaves of the Spartanburg County straw poll.

If the poll does mean anything, then it’s good news for McCain, the winner; for Rudy, who showed he can compete in a deep red area despite his softness on abortion and gay rights; and for Duncan Hunter, who’ll get a little publicity boost from his close third-place finish. For Romney, though, who finished a distant fifth despite being the most socially conservative among the three major candidates? Dispiriting.

Update: Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore declares his candidacy and goes RINO-hunting. Click the image to watch.