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S.C. Senator Vincent Sheheen will run against Gov. Nikki Haley in 2014 – assuming Haley hasn’t succeeded in her quest to become vice president (or been forced to resign due to one of her many scandals).

Sources familiar with Sheheen’s thinking tell FITS that the 40-year-old  Camden, S.C. native will mount a much more aggressive campaign this go-round – as evidenced by the  instrumental role he played in convincing Dick Harpootlian to re-take the reins of the S.C. Democratic Party

Sheheen was one of several high-ranking Democrats who persuaded  Harpootlian – a legendary political pit bull – to return to the post he held from 1998-2003.

“(Dick’s) going to soften (Haley) up,” one veteran Democratic operative told FITS, an effort that is obviously already underway.

Meanwhile Sheheen will continue to tack to the center on issues like government restructuring – a Haley priority.

“It’s a two-track effort,” the operative told us.

Will it be successful? We’ll see … Sheheen will still have to defend against allegations that he has used his office for personal gain. He’ll also have to beat back the “Obama liberal” taint, although that should be easier this go-round given Haley’s recent executive order setting up an Obamacare exchange in South Carolina.

Assuming she’s a candidate in 2014, Haley could be “softened up” from the right, as well – possibly in the form of a primary challenge from State Treasurer Curtis Loftis. Adding to her problems, Haley actively campaigned against the man who was just elected Chairman of the S.C. Republican Party – a rift that could come back to haunt her down the road.

Dogged by numerous scandals, Haley limped to an unconvincing win over Sheheen in November – winning just 51.3 percent of the vote. That was the second-lowest percentage – and the smallest victory margin – of any Republican on the statewide ballot.

Assuming he runs, does Sheheen have a chance in 2014? And how would Haley and Loftis fare against him? Also, how would they fare in a primary election against each other?

Vote in our poll(s) and post your thoughts in our comments section below …

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