John McCain Pulls Even With Rudy Giuliani, Duncan Hunter in South Carolina Straw Poll

Sen. John McCain pulled even with two of his Republican rivals when counting resumed Friday morning in a presidential straw poll in conservative Spartanburg County.

Though most of the roughly 800 votes were counted on Thursday night, ballots tallied Friday morning weighed heavily in McCain's favor, said GOP county chairman Rick Beltram.

The updated count put McCain in a dead heat with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and California Rep. Duncan Hunter. Beltram would not release any specific numbers and said a final tally would be known Friday afternoon.

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The count was suspended because of severe weather that swept across South Carolina.

With 81 of 92 precincts reporting Thursday night, Giuliani garnered 158 votes. Hunter was a close second with 152 votes and McCain was third with 116 votes, according to county GOP officials.

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback had 83 votes, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had 80 votes and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee rounded out the front-runners with 21 votes.

Beltram blamed the low turnout on the weather.