From Anthony Zurcher writing at the BBC:
When Donald Trump takes the stage at the Republican debate in Charleston, South Carolina, on Thursday night, he’ll have an unlikely home field advantage.
The New York real estate mogul has posted a consistently commanding lead in presidential preference polls in the state, which holds its primary election just two weeks after Iowa and New Hampshire. He’s made more than a dozen trips there, drawing crowds in the thousands, while the gatherings of his competitors pull in hundreds at best.
In fact, across the South – in states like Mississippi, Florida, Texas, Georgia and North Carolina – Mr Trump has been immensely popular. Last August, the candidate gave a speech at a football stadium in Mobile, Alabama, that drew an estimated crowd of 30,000 – orders of magnitude above what any other Republican has tallied.
It all makes for a rather unusual attraction, given that Southerners can look askance at brash Northerners like Trump, whom they often derisively refer to as Yankees.
Read the rest of the story at the BBC.