Washington Post picks Beaufort County, just across Savannah River, as most important to watch in today’s S.C. vote

The Washington Post on the importance of watching the vote in Beaufort County in today’s Republican presidential primary:

1. Beaufort County

This was Romney’s best county – by far – in 2008, when he took 26 percent of the vote in this southeastern coastal area. It’s also the most moderate-friendly county, having given nearly three-quarters of the vote to the trio of Romney, John McCain and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The ninth-biggest county in the 2008 results, it has grown even more since then as northern retirees continue to move south. Romney should do very well here, and if he doesn’t, that’s a bad sign.

One caveat, though, is that Rick Santorum’s brother is from here, and Romney hasn’t visited much (see our visit tracker here), so the former Pennsylvania senator could steal votes and play spoiler.

2008 results: McCain 42, Romney 26, Mike Huckabee 16, Fred Thompson 8, Giuliani 6, Ron Paul 2

It’s an interesting piece with lots of data from the 2008 vote.