The Post and Courier and POLITICO will team up to cover the 2012 race for the White House -- a race where South Carolina is expected to play an outsized role, at least during next year's Republican primary.

The newspaper is one of four in early primary states that have formed a partnership with the nonpartisan, Washington-based political journalism group, whose content can be found online at politico.com.

The Post and Courier and POLITICO plan to share content and collaborate on reporting projects and analysis, both in print and online.

POLITICO recently launched 2012 LIVE, a new section of its website designed to provide in-depth coverage of the race for the Republican nomination as well as President Barack Obama's re-election effort.

The section includes sub-pages dedicated to early- voting states South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and offers an extensive look at information about likely candidates, their advisers, fundraising and media coverage.

Politico Executive Editor Jim VandeHei said 2012 LIVE is based on POLITICO's belief that political junkies can't get enough news and analysis on the election.

"There is no better combination for understanding and covering the politics of South Carolina than POLITICO teaming up with The Post and Courier," he said. "Our readers will benefit tremendously from the insight, reporting and influence of such an esteemed statewide news- paper."

The Post and Courier also is looking forward to the partnership.

"This will help us better serve our readers," said Rick Nelson, the newspaper's assistant managing editor for news. "POLITICO has some of the best political reporting in the business, which will complement our top-notch coverage from a key battleground state."

South Carolina not only will hold the first-in-the-South GOP presidential primary, but since 1980, the winner of the Republican primary has ultimately captured the party's nomination.