1) Somehow, the SC GOP has gotten a lot of pundits to believe that the choice of SC voters is what determines the nominee of the GOP.
Related myths of political significance are
2) No one has won the first two contests (and until last week when the IA win result was changed, Romney was believd to be the first)
3) There has never been a different winner in the first three contests (which presumes that SC is always in the first three contests)
2012 is the first year that SC was in the first three contests. In 2008, besides IA and NH, the Michigan primary and the Wyoming caucus preceded them. Huckabee, Romney and McCain won the first three events.
In 2000, the Delaware primary and Alaska caucus also preceded SC. In 1996 the first three events were the Alaska, Louisiana and Iowa caucuses and Buchanan's win in Louisiana was a major factor to his performance in Iowa.
In 1988, Bush, Robertson and Dole won the first three events with Roberton's Hawaii caucus win being a major factor in his performance in the 4th event (the Iowa caucus).
Myth 1 and 3)
In 1996, it was the NINTH contest of the year.
In 1988, it was the THIRTEENTH contest of the year.
After 8 or 12 contests, the winner of the nomination is clear. Whatever SC has to say about it is irrelevant.
In 1980 it was the 5th primary of the year (6th election including caucuses). Even then, it would be 2 months before the eventual nominee stopped losing primary/caucuses.
Prior to 1980 they had no vote (caucus or primary) so it had zero relevance.
No event had relevance in 1984 or 2004 when incumbent presidents were reelected president. Possibly in 1992 it was of minor significance though Bush Sr's competition was effectively over after the New Hampshire primary.
In 2000 Bush won both the Alaska and subsequent Iowa caucuses (NH was the 3rd election that year). In 1996, Alaska was joined by Louisiana as pre-Iowa caucuses, and both were won by Buchanan.
In 1980, Bush sr won the first two contests, the Iowa Caucus followd by another primary that was NOT New Hampshire. It was Puerto Rico.
In 1968, Nixon one the first two contests (Wisconsin being the 2nd primary after New Hampshire). Iowa did not begin its caucuses until 1972.