DAY IN A NUTSHELL
Mitt Romney leaves South Carolina to campaign in Nevada, where he receives an endorsement from the state's biggest newspaper - the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A Nevada court rules that the Democrats' plans to hold caucuses in Las Vegas casinos can go ahead, in spite of opposition from teachers' unions, who argued that holding caucuses in casinos would give casino workers an unfair voting advantage over other workers.
"Romney's South Carolina strategy amounts to being politically half-pregnant. He doesn't want to raise expectations in a state he likely can't win, so he's dashing off to Nevada midday Thursday to compete in the lightly contested caucuses there Saturday. But at the same time, he doesn't want to offend his supporters in South Carolina."
Jonathan Martin and Lisa Lerer, Politico.com
"I don't think that's a radical view to say we're going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we're going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal."
"Never has there been a presidential season that has made such a mockery of the elusive concept of electability. At this point voters in both parties seem totally baffled about who would be their strongest candidate in the general election."
Walter Shapiro, Salon.com
"Clinton's clanking, wheezing political jalopy, blowing its gaskets and stripping its lug nuts, has moved on from faulting Obama for a kindergarten essay (in which he supposedly revealed a presidential ambition that was unseemly around the teeter-totter) to accusing him of wanting to be reasonable, even likable."
George Will, Washington Post
Three South Carolina polls are released, all suggesting that John McCain has the lead in the state.
Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby gives Mr McCain 29% to Mike Huckabee's 22%, with Fred Thompson on 14% and Mitt Romney on 12%.
In a Public Policy Polling survey, Mr McCain is on 28%, with Mr Huckabee second on 20% and Mr Romney third on 18%, just ahead of Mr Thompson on 17%.
The third poll - from the American Research Group (ARG) - suggests that Mr McCain is on 33%, 10 points ahead of Mr Huckabee on 23%, with Mr Romney on 20%.
ARG also surveyed the Democratic race, giving Barack Obama the lead with 44% to Hillary Clinton's 38%, with John Edwards trailing in third on 9%.
Mike Huckabee supporters are out in force in South Carolina, where the former Arkansas Governor is running second in the polls