The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

South Carolinians Go to the Polls Again


It’s primary day in Utah, and runoff day in South Carolina, Utah, and North Carolina.

In South Carolina, Republicans will pick their gubernatorial nominee between Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett. The past two weeks have seen no anti-Haley bombshells, so she is expected to win; in the first round, she had 49 percent to about 22 percent for Barrett. But because a little over 50 percent voted for someone else last time, it’s possible this might not be the rout that the first round’s results would suggest. Haley represents overturning the established order of Palmetto State GOP politics, and there are a lot of folks who are comfortable with the way things are already.

Down-ticket, Leighton Lord and Alan Wilson, the son of Rep. Joe Wilson, are fighting for the GOP nomination to be state attorney general. A mysterious group is running ads against Wilson, claiming he’s just a “Good Ole Boy” who once failed the bar exam. The ads are enough to get his father to yell, “YOU L-” — eh, you know, that joke is just too easy.

Also down-ticket in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district is the GOP runoff for U.S. House; Tim Scott is expected to finish ahead of Paul Thurmond, son of the longtime senator. This is an R+10 district, and so the winner is likely to go on to win in November; if elected, Scott would be the first African-American Republican in the House since J. C. Watts retired.

I notice Thurmond is running an attack ad that simultaneously criticizes Scott for supporting more spending and for opposing funding for harbor dredging.

In another notable GOP House runoff, Rep. Bob Inglis may well lose his primary to Trey Gowdy.

Tags: Alan Wilson , Gresham Barrett , Joe Wilson , Leighton Lord , Nikki Haley , Paul Thurmond , Tim Scott


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