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U.S. Rep. Gresham Bailout … err, Barrett is “more competitive than expected” in the 2010 S.C. gubernatorial race, according to a poll paid for by … wait for it … Barrett’s own campaign.

Additionally, the results of the Barrett poll were promoted on the website Wolfe Reports, which multiple sources say has a financial connection to the political consulting firm owned by Barrett’s longtime consultant, J. Warren Tompkins.

You can read the paid political advertising here, assuming you enjoy being made a fool of.

This is the second time in as many months that consultant-driven polling has been published on the governor’s race, prompting us to wonder when Rod Shealy will release his survey showing that Andre Bauer is in the, um, “driver’s seat” in the race.

Probably any day now.

The sad fact is that Bauer, Barrett and Henry McMaster (a.k.a. the “establishment three“) are nothing but old-school GOP blowhards beholden to the same old special interests that have held this state back for years.

They’re empty suits – pandering, status quo politicians who would turn the Governor’s Office into a home for “go along to get along” thinking, not the long-overdue change that S.C. citizens and taxpayers deserve.

Tweedle Dumb, Tweedle Dumber and Tweedle Dumbest, if you ask us.

Seriously, Tom Davis … Nikki Haley … where y’all at?

This race needs a real reformer and fast …