Leading up to the election exactly two weeks from this night, I thought it would be helpful to show a map of the last competitive governor’s race in South Carolina. The competition between State Senator Vincent Sheheen (D) and then State Representative Nikki Haley (R) was surprisingly competitive, especially considering the onslaught suffered by the Democratic party on a nationwide scale due to the midterm backlash of President Obama’s midterm.
The main takeaway from this map is that even with all of the counties won by Sheheen, the sheer population mass located in a few counties (Greenville, Horry, and York) is enough to negate the margins run up in smaller, rural counties.
If State Representative James Smith (D) is to defeat the incumbent Governor Henry McMaster (R), Smith is going to have to do well in the Upstate. Sheheen’s success in 2010 was stymied by the solid wall of Republican margins in the Upstate. While Smith doesn’t have to win the Upstate counties, the margins must be twice as competitive to reduce the mass of Republican margins that can’t be canceled out elsewhere.
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