(CN) - The unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia is roiling the political establishment in Washington, D.C., but in South Carolina, where the Republican presidential primary is just four days away, voters attending a rally for Jeb Bush Monday night said the next president should pick the next justice.
In the immediate aftermath of Scalia's death of natural causes at a Texas hunting resort on Saturday, President Obama said he will select a nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to block consideration of any nominee until voters elect a new president.
The line between Republicans and Democrats may be no brighter than in South Carolina, which has held the first-in-the-South presidential primary since 1980.
The state does not have voter registration by party, so voters may vote in either party primary but not both. In theory that would suggest fluidity in how the public votes in South Carolina. In reality, the voting breaks down along party lines as much in the Palmetto State as anywhere else.
In the wake of Scalia's death, what one hears about the Supreme Court at poliitical rallies throughout the state falls squarely along party lines. On Monday night, as more than 3,000 turned out to see former President George W. Bush stump with his brother Jeb Bush, many in the crowd stood with the McConnell and the Republican-controlled Senate.
Beth College, of Mount Pleasant, said that the United States "lost a great Supreme Court justice.
"There's no question," College said. "Will we ever get one as great to replace him? I doubt it, and I know we won't if Obama gets to choose."
"I know the Constitution gives the president the right to nominate an individual to fill a Supreme Court vacancy, but given that this is an election year, I really think he should wait," she said.
She and Clarence Gatlin, of Charleston, said they believe the Senate should block the nominee and not back down.
"Absolutely they should," College said.
Gatlin conceded that the president "should nominate whoever he wants to," but said he expects the Senate "to take as long as they want to, to confirm, and it will be after next year, after the new president is inaugurated, before a new justice is appointed."
Asked if he thought the court and the country could afford to wait that long, the 80-year-old was succinct.
"We can't afford to have another liberal in there," he said.
Robert Guadalupe, attending the Bush event with his wife, Lissette, also said he believes replacing Scalia should be put on hold.
"I think people of South Carolina believe we need to keep a balance in the court, and in my opinion, the person who replaces Justice Scalia should be conservative, as he was."
Like the overwhelming majority of attendees at the Bush rally in the North Charleston performing arts center complex, Guadalupe believes the next president will be a Republican.
The question then was whether he thought any of the Republican hopefuls would be a better nominee than another.
"Any of the Republican candidates will pick a better judge than Obama," he said. "The Senate should push back as hard as it can."