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2012 GOP Race

The crowded Republican race for South Carolina’s first congressional district has boiled down to a battle between five candidates, sources who polled the Lowcountry district earlier this week tell FITS.

S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford is still the top choice of most first district primary voters – although his support has dropped in recent weeks from the “mid-thirties to the mid-twenties,” one source told us.

“His ‘forgiveness’ ad did not do him any favors,” the source added, referring to Sanford’s initial television spot.

The candidate on the move? Trial lawyer Curtis Bostic – who doesn’t even live in the district (and has some serious questions to answer for as it relates to his involvement with a “Christian” adoption service).

Nonetheless, Bostic has reportedly climbed to the “upper teens” in the first district race due to his diligent grassroots outreach efforts.

Right behind him? Teddy Turner – son of liberal media mogul Ted Turner. And nipping at Turner’s heels? Fiscally conservative S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms – the candidate this website is likely to endorse.

The pollsters told us the other eleven candidates in this race – including well-known Charleston, S.C. lawmaker Chip “Fat Boy” Limehouse – were polling in single digits.

It didn’t take long for political operatives affiliated with various candidates in the race to blast the poll’s findings.

“There’s no way Limehouse is in fifth place in this race,” one strategist affiliated with another campaign told FITS.

Even Limehouse’s enemies agreed with that assessment.

“(Limehouse is) higher than single digits based on his name identification alone,” the consultant told us, adding that they “hate Limehouse.”

Which isn’t hard to do …

Anyway assuming Limehouse is in the top tier of candidates, we’re basically looking at a five-person fight for the GOP nomination. More specifically, we’re likely looking at a four-person fight for an April runoff election against Sanford.

Sixteen candidates are seeking the GOP nomination for the first district seat vacated earlier this year by newly appointed U.S. Sen. Tim Scott. Assuming no candidate receives more than fifty percent of the vote in March 19’s special primary election (a virtual certainty at this point), the top two vote getters will square off two weeks later in a runoff.

The winner of that battle will face Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch in May.

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