RANDOM THOUGHTS ON THE ELECTION THAT WASN’T
Does the 2012 S.C. primary election deserve its own “live blog?” Of course not … no statewide offices are up for grabs, and has been pointed out ad nauseam over the last few weeks there were nearly 200 candidates removed from the ballot. Throw in some bad weather, a disaffected Tea Party movement and you’re looking at a perfect storm … of non-participation.
Nonetheless, there was an election held in South Carolina today, and as the biggest political blog in the state we would be remiss not to “live-blog” it.
11:03 p.m. – One last update. According to the S.C. Election Commission, 278,567 South Carolinians cast ballots today. That’s 9.88 percent of the state’s registered voters.
Once again … abysmal.
10:47 p.m. – Thanks to everyone who logged on tonight … the “live blog” was a big hit! We’ll have plenty of stories for everyone to chew on tomorrow as the fallout from the “election that wasn’t” begins to settle.
10:31 p.m. – According to the S.C. Election Commission, turnout for the 2012 S.C. primary elections was “very low.” In fact it may wind up being historically low. With 43 of 44 counties reporting (two counties didn’t hold elections due to a lack of eligible candidates), turnout is currently at 9.87 percent.
10:25 p.m. – Controversy in the Democratic primary for the S.C. seventh … candidate Gloria Tinubu has won 49 percent of the vote to Preston Brittain’s 36 percent (an upset). But S.C. Rep. Ted Vick was still on the ballot (even after dropping out) – and he actually got around 7 percent of the vote. Tinubu is arguing that Vick’s votes shouldn’t count and that she is the Democratic nominee. Brittain is claiming (correctly) that Tinubu didn’t meet the “more than fifty percent” threshold required for claiming victory without a runoff.
10:22 p.m. – The SCGOP just put out the following statement on the result of the S.C. seventh congressional district primary, in which former S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer will face Horry County council chairman Tom Rice in a runoff on June 26 …
“Andre Bauer and Tom Rice are outstanding candidates and South Carolina would be well served by either in Congress. I also commend the seven other Republicans who sought the 7th Congressional seat. I look forward to working with them to secure a Republican victory in November,” said Chairman Connelly.
“Our Republican principles stand in stark contrast to Democrats Preston Brittain and Gloria Tinubu – two liberals in a big spending, pro-ObamaCare pod. They couldn’t be more out of touch with South Carolina values. Brittain has even said, ‘I wouldn’t say that I see any great failure’ in Barack Obama.
“Preston Brittain and Gloria Tinubu could maybe get elected in Pasadena, California, but they sure can’t get elected in the Pee Dee of South Carolina.”
10:15 p.m. – Just got this email from a Republican operative in Dorchester County …
I don’t ever remember seeing a lower voter turnout in Dorchester County. If we don’t dramatically improve upon this in Novemeber here and around the country, it’s four more years with a communist in the White House.
Wait … is South Carolina really still a swing state?
10:14 p.m. – S.C. Sen. Mike Fair (RINO-Greenville) becomes the latest status quo lawmaker to win reelection …
10:05 p.m. – Another bit of good news. Longtime RINO B.R. Skelton lost his GOP primary against challenger Ed Harris in Pickens County. These bright spots are very rare, though. Most RINOs won, and they even picked up a seat in the State Senate with S.C. Sen. Mike Rose’s primary defeat.
10:04 p.m. – Just overheard a BMW commercial that I’m pretty sure featured Moby’s version of Joy Division’s “New Dawn Fades.” Pretty bitchin …
10:02 p.m. – S.C. Rep. Tom Corbin will easily claim the S.C. Senate seat held by Phil Shoopman (who is stepping down). Let’s hope he’s as strong a fiscal conservative as Shoopman says he is.
9:56 p.m. – The lovely Mrs. Sic Willie has entered the “office cave” and is administering a much-needed neck rub to this tired blogger.
9:45 p.m. – With 94 percent of precincts reporting, here’s the latest on the SC seventh congressional district race … looking like a runoff between former S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and Horry County councilman Tom Rice – with Florence attorney Jay Jordan turned in a much better than expected showing to claim third place.
Andre Bauer – 10,939 – 32%
Tom Rice – 9,122 – 27%
Jay Jordan – 7,678 – 23%
9:44 p.m. - Some (more) good news out of Spartanburg, S.C. Reformer Donna Wood defeated incumbent S.C. Rep. Steve Parker in the GOP primary for S.C. House District 35. Wood won by a compelling 57-43 percent margin over this corrupt RINO.
9:32 p.m. – S.C. Sen. Mike Rose (R-S.C.) has been defeated in his GOP primary by Sean Bennett, a “pro-business” Republican. That’s a terrible outcome. Rose was a solid fiscal conservative vote, while Bennett is a crony capitalist of the first order.
9:30 p.m. – S.C. Sen. Mike Fair (RINO-S.C.) is leading his GOP primary opponent Chris Sullivan by a 55-45 percent margin with 66 percent of precincts reporting.
9:27 p.m. – Congrats to former City of Columbia, S.C. councilman Kirkman Finley who cruised to victory in the GOP primary for S.C. House District 75.
9:25 p.m. – Congrats to DeeDee Vaughters on her victory in the GOP primary for S.C. Senate District 26.
9:22 p.m. – More bad news … S.C. Sen. Ronnie Cromer, a status quo RINO, easily won his GOP primary race against Rich Bolen and Kara Gormley Meador. Cromer won with 62 percent of the vote.
Here’s a statement from Meador:
I can’t begin to tell those of you who supported me how touched I am. Thank you for your contributions of time, money and talents. I have enjoyed meeting so many new friends along this journey.
I love our state and you all have truly inspired me to continue working to improve it. Among my many blessings, I have a wonderful family. Today wasn’t my day, but I have no regrets about pursuing this goal. We’ll see what God has in store for me next.
9:20 p.m. – S.C. Rep. Chip Limehouse breezed to a primary victory in Charleston County, S.C. That’s unfortunate. He’s one of the most corrupt, fiscally liberal Republicans at the S.C. State House.
9:19 p.m. – S.C. Rep. Joshua Putnam is enjoying a big lead in his Anderson County district with about half of the votes counted. Good to hear that, he’s one of the few fiscal conservatives at the S.C. State House.
9:17 p.m. – Jared Martin says: “(John) Hawkins is gonna go HAM at his victory party at the luxurious Hampton Inn!” HAM?
Update: Oh …
9:15 p.m. – A big chunk of votes in the S.C. seventh congressional district race just came through. With 75 percent of precincts in, here are the totals …
Andre Bauer – 8,083 – 32%
Tom Rice – 6,611 – 26%
Jay Jordan – 5,927 – 24%
Chad Prosser – 2,461 – 10%
9:12 p.m. – Runoffs are triggered in South Carolina when a candidate fails to earn more than 50 percent of the popular vote in the primary. When that happens, the top two vote-getters go at it two weeks later.
9:10 p.m. – The S.C. seventh congressional district race is clearly headed for a runoff between former S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and either Florence attorney Jay Jordan or Horry County councilman Tom Rice.
9:07 p.m. – The latest numbers from the S.C. seventh congressional district race (47 percent of precincts reporting).
Andre Bauer -5,417 -32%
Jay Jordan -4,406 -26%
Tom Rice -4,217 -25%
Chad Prosser -1,745 -10%
Katherine Jenerette -652 -4%
9:05 p.m. – It’s looking like S.C. Sen. David Thomas is going to have to struggle just to make a runoff election to hold onto his seat. He’s currently in third place in a five candidate race in Greenville, S.C.
9:02 p.m. – The SCGOP has just issued a statement congratulating U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson on his victory.
“South Carolina Republicans sent a powerful message that they want Joe Wilson to keep fighting for their values in Washington,” said Chairman Connelly.
“With no Democratic opposition in November, we look forward to Joe continuing his great record of creating jobs, working for lower taxes, and looking out for our veterans and their families.”
Ummm …. a “powerful message?” You guys know there’s record-low turnout, right?
8:57 p.m. – Here’s U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson celebrating his victory with some dude in seersucker …
8:56 p.m. – With 42 percent of precincts reporting, it’s looking like this Jay Jordan thing is for real. Current vote totals from the S.C. seventh congressional district …
Andre Bauer – 4,733 – 31%
Jay Jordan – 4,194 – 28%
Tom Rice – 3,631 – 24%
Chad Prosser – 1,516 – 10%
Katherine Jenerette – 543 – 4%
8:53 p.m. – Our founding editor keeping it classy on Twitter …
— Will Folks aka Sic (@fitsnews) June 13, 2012
8:51 p.m. – S.C. Rep. Nelson Hardwick (RINO-Myrtle Beach) easily wins reelection.
8:49 p.m. @maggiemae0412 on the Lee Bright/ John Hawkins race: “If there was any way that both of them could have lost – that would have been justice in my book.” Ha! That’s pretty funny …
8:46 p.m. – With 92 of 93 precincts reporting, Lee Bright is up to 59 percent of the vote compared to 41 percent for Hawkins. That’s almost a double landslide.
8:45 p.m. – Props to Nancy Mace and Desiree Watson for getting the Ron Paul army mobilized behind Lee Bright … and Bryan Gentry and Somer Grasser for their work on the ground. #TeamLeeBright.
8:41 p.m. – U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson has survived a primary challenge. Wait … Joe Wilson had a primary challenge? The things you learn on election night …
8:39 p.m. – With 15 percent of precincts reporting, Andre Bauer is at 35 percent in the S.C. seventh congressional district race, leading Florence attorney Jay Jordan (28 percent) and Horry County councilman Tom Rice (20 percent).
8:37 p.m. – S.C. Sen. Shane Massey comments on Lee Bright’s victory over former Sen. John Hawkins:
“That’s a beating.”
True that, man. True that.
8:35 p.m. – S.C. Sen. Lee Bright has defeated former S.C. Sen. John Hawkins.
8:33 p.m.- Lee Bright is pulling away. With 75 percent of precincts reporting, he’s up 57.6 percent to 42.3 percent for John Hawkins.
8:31 p.m. – With 31 percent of precincts reporting, Sen. Lee Bright leads former Sen. John Hawkins by a 53-47 percent margin.
8:30 p.m. – With 9 percent of precincts reporting, Andre Bauer is back up in the SC seventh congressional district race, leading Florence attorney Jay Jordan 34-31 percent with Horry County councilman Tom Rice at 21 percent.
8:27 p.m. – In case anyone cares (probably not), the word “precinct” comes from the Latin praecinctum, which means “boundary line.” My guess? None of the mouth breathers on this state’s ballot knew that …
8:25 p.m. – State Sen. Kevin Bryant – one of the few fiscal conservatives in the S.C. General Assembly – has an early lead over his primary opponent (78-22 percent with 14 percent of precincts reporting).
8:21 p.m. – This isn’t election related, but House and Senate conferees at the S.C. State House just adjourned from their debate over South Carolina’s record-breaking $23 billion state budget. Taxpayers are taking it up the ass in more than one way today, aren’t they?
8:18 p.m. – With 5 percent of precincts reporting, Florence Attorney Jay Jordan is now tied with Andre Bauer for the lead the race for the SC seventh congressional district, drawing 31 percent of the vote. In third is Tom Rice with 23 percent. We’re guessing these are early precincts from the Pee Dee.
8:11 p.m. – In case anyone was thinking S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley might change her mind on releasing emails related to an ongoing investigation into her pre-gubernatorial dealings, she pretty much put the kibosh on that while campaigning for Lee Bright in Spartanburg …
“This is about what America is about. When you go and have a lawyer, you do have the right to an attorney to have that conversation. You shouldn’t have to release attorney-client privileges.” – Nikki Haley.
8:09 p.m. – I don’t know how cuties like Jennifer Clark (a.k.a. @CUTIEnOC) wind up in my twitterfeed, but like that guy in Coming to America said, “there’s a god, somewhere …”
(Click to enlarge)
8:07 p.m. – How funny is this? S.C. Rep. Ted Vick’s name is still on the 2012 primary ballot for the seventh congressional race – and he’s pulling 5 percent of the Democratic vote! (Reminder alert).
8:02 p.m. – Former S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer has jumped ahead in the early seventh district count. With four percent of precincts reporting, he has 405 votes (34 percent) compared to 374 (32 percent) for Tom Rice.
8:00 p.m. – In case you’re just joining us, scroll down to 6:53 p.m. … you’ll be glad you did (thank you, @ThadViers).
7:58 p.m. – With one precinct reporting, S.C. Sen Mike Rose leads his opponent Sean Bennett 4-1. Too early to call the race?
7:56 p.m. – According to @Mrs_Laz, Sen. Lee Bright received 104 absentee ballots while John Hawkins got 96. That race is going to be close …
7:54 p.m. – Petition candidate John Steinberger says he got 480 signatures today. By the way, in case you didn’t know it there’s a major petition effort underway to restore many of the primary candidates who were booted from the ballot.
7:52 p.m. – With one – that’s right, one percent of the vote in, Horry County councilman Tom Rice has 76 votes to Andre Bauer’s 64. Chad Prosser has 20 votes, while Jay Jordan has 18 votes.
7:51 p.m. – Paul Thurmond (son of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond) just posted a statement about the election on his Facebook page:
Thank you to all the well-wishers, volunteers and voters regarding today’s election. It was an odd day being on the ballot, but not having opposition. I truly wish that wasn’t the case. A number of people have inquired about a victory party, but there is zero celebration when it comes to winning by default. My thoughts and prayers go out to my opponents who were deprived of giving the voters a choice. I can’t help but wonder if the hundreds of hours of time, thousands of dollars and todays’ voter’s support will be for not with another ruling by the courts. Please know that I am going to continue to fight to keep alive a Republican candidate for this seat. The alternative of a free pass for the democrat is simply not an option.
7:50 p.m. – With eight percent of precincts in, S.C. Sen. Billy O’Dell (RINO-Abbeville) leads his opponent Riley Harvell 187-81.
7:47 p.m. – Results starting to trickle in (voice in my head: “you said trickle.”)
7:44 p.m. – In 2010, 623,418 South Carolinians voted in primary elections (425,449 Republicans and 197,593 Democrats). That added up to 24.1 percent of registered voters in the state.
7:40 p.m. – Turnout in today’s election could set a record … for shittiness.
7:38 p.m. – Incidentally, 75 percent of our readers believed Haley’s endorsement would hurt Bright – compared to just 25 percent who believed it would help.
7:36 p.m. – Lee Bright, of course, was the only candidate to receive an endorsement from S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley (who vowed two years ago that she “wouldn’t stop” until S.C. had a “conservative House” and a “conservative Senate.”
7:34 p.m. – As of this writing, WSPA TV 7 still doesn’t have the Lee Bright-John Hawkins race up on its live results page …
7:28 p.m. – Also, the SCEC says that the 2,345,183 eligible voters represent 85.4 percent of the state’s voting age population. But how many will show up?
7:27 p.m. – According to the S.C. Election Commission (SCEC), 1,834 out of 2,133 precincts were open for business today – 86 percent.
7:26 p.m. – Seriously, Pee Dee/ Myrtle Beach … you people bitched and moaned about getting a congressional district and none of you bothered to vote? #Weak.
7:25 p.m. – S.C. Election Commission officially declared turnout “light” earlier today – including Spartanburg (where there’s a hotly contested State Senate race) and the newly drawn seventh congressional district.
7:23 p.m. – Still trying to find out from Thad Viers who that bombshell was from “6:53 p.m.”
7:19 p.m. – Cents makes a good point. As this case demonstrates, ballot eligibility for today’s election was not uniform. Candidates in the exact same situation were treated differently.
7:17 p.m. – @ColumbiaCents wants everybody to know that “incumbant (sic) Richland Cncilman (sic) Kennedy fails to file ANY ethics/finance disclosures for 4 YEARS. Still on ballot ow.ly/bthdy.” He tweeted that to me like ten times today so I figured I would pass it along.
7:15 p.m. – If you think the choices in this election were bad, wait till November …
7:11 p.m. – @ToddKincannon says “At my home precinct, 90 GOP votes so far. 6 Dems. 6. Not a typo.” Damn … that’s some crazy disinterest (by the way, happy birthday dude!)
7:10 p.m. – Funny story … remember the “GOP purity pledge” that was designed to keep a certain local sheriff from running for reelection? As a result of “Ballot-mageddon,” he wound up being the only qualified candidate on the ballot …
7:06 p.m. – Embattled Charleston County GOP chairwoman (and SCGOP first vice chairwoman) Lin Bennett is facing a fresh round of criticism over what is being described as exceedingly low turnout in Charleston, S.C. “Bennett should spend less time promoting convicted felons and more time tending to basic things like making sure Republicans in Charleston County actually vote!” one local Republican told us.
7:03 p.m. – Prediction time … I’m betting Andre Bauer and Tom Rice (two perfectly awful candidates) wind up in a runoff for the newly drawn S.C. seventh congressional district. Also putting my money on Lee Bright hanging on against former S.C. Senator John “Alleged Rapist” Hawkins.
7:00 p.m. – Polls closed …
6:59 p.m. – Our boy Skineee (a.k.a. David Haskins) says: “I was republican primary voter number #198 at Wellington precinct. Had I voted in the Dem primary I would have been #6. ##VoterID.”
6:56 p.m. – This is for @GOPFratStar … who told us to “live blog bro.”
(Click to enlarge)
Yeah! That pic is courtesy of a supporter of Thad Viers, whose pimp hand grows stronger by the day.
6:55 p.m. – According to the S.C. State Election Commission, there are 2,345,183 eligible voters in the state of South Carolina. Anybody want to guess how few of them turned out today?
6:50 p.m. – Just got the absolute hottest pic of a S.C. seventh congressional district voter courtesy of @ThadViers. Posting momentarily …
6:47 p.m. – In case you missed them, here were our endorsements for the 2012 S.C. primary races. Not a lot of them there, obviously … because there were not a lot of contested races (even before two S.C. Supreme Court rulings removed roughly 200 candidates from the ballot).
6:45 p.m. – Polls officially close in 15 minutes …