84.08 Percent

THE REAL STORY OF SOUTH CAROLINA’S 2014 PARTISAN PRIMARIES The results are in from this week’s partisan primary elections in the Palmetto State … you know, the ones you read about in the papers. The ones in which certain establishment candidates “rolled,” “cruised” or were “swept” to victory. Riveting stuff,…


The results are in from this week’s partisan primary elections in the Palmetto State … you know, the ones you read about in the papers. The ones in which certain establishment candidates “rolled,” “cruised” or were “swept” to victory.

Riveting stuff, huh?

Not really … at least not when you look at the numbers making up their “mandates.”

A whopping 84.08 percent of South Carolina’s 2.8 million registered voters didn’t bother to show up this week … the lowest turnout for a statewide primary election in recent memory. For those of you educated in one of South Carolina’s failing government-run schools, subtract 84.08 from 100 percent and you wind up with an anemic 15.92 percent turnout rate.

In 2012, turnout in the state’s partisan primary elections was only 13.6 percent – but no statewide races were on the ballot. This year’s ballot featured several competitive statewide races as well as partisan primaries for two U.S. Senate seats.

The last time statewide partisan primaries were held – in 2010 – turnout was 26 percent. It was 20.5 percent in 2008 – the last time U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (RINO-S.C.) was on the ballot.

This year’s total also fell well below turnout percentages from 2004 (25.1 percent), 2002 (24.9 percent), 2000 (18.7 percent) and 1998 (26.7 percent).

So what gives? Are we looking at a “lull in the action?” Or are South Carolina’s two major parties losing their sway over the electorate?

Last December, former GOP statewide official (turned reality TV star) Thomas Ravenel penned a column in which he assailed the fiscal failures of both parties.

“At the federal, state and local level GOP and Democratic politicians love to throw rhetorical bombs at one other – vague, clichéd barbs sensationalized by the mainstream media (which thrives on meaningless conflict as a means of perpetuating its false narrative),” Ravenel wrote. “But the unavoidable truth is that both major political parties are slaves to the same system. Look no further than their shared refusal to make meaningful spending cuts – or their shared assault on the handful of elected officials who do propose specific spending reductions.”

Ravenel added that “America is on an unsustainable fiscal course – and will remain locked on that course until a party emerges that is willing to faithfully and aggressively advance free market alternatives.”

In responding to this week’s election results Ravenel sounded a similar theme.

“This election cycle has been dominated by lowest common denominator appeals from candidates aiming to be one of the lesser of two evils,” he said. “No wonder the vast majority of South Carolinians refrain from voting on partisan primary day. They’ve heard it all before – yet all they see is more of the same.”

Is he right?

We certainly think so …

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CNSYD June 12, 2014 at 8:58 am

Ravenel’s words should be very familiar to Sic Willie as he is their author.

Gregory Geddings June 13, 2014 at 7:12 am

Wait! Are you saying that Ravenel’s words are the same as GrandTango’s as well?

Squishy123 June 12, 2014 at 9:16 am

Maybe the low turn out is because people of this state have simply given up on the state and local governments. When you start having only candidates who either run to extend their professional political careers or are only qualified based on their last name and what their daddy did in office it really doesn’t matter who you put into office because both are running purely for their own ego or personal agenda. If you think 15% is low, wait until the results come back for the run off elections, I doubt it’ll hit double figures.

Fat Greg Dulli June 12, 2014 at 9:18 am

If you look at the way Columbia is being run into the ground by this Ray Nagin wannabe mayor and his band of sack riding morons, it’s clear to see that people have given up.

idcydm June 12, 2014 at 9:21 am

Don’t worry low information voters will return.

Duh huh June 12, 2014 at 9:39 am

I wonder if it has ever occurred to Rush Limbaugh that what he calls the “low information” voter is actually the “low IQ” voter?

The main difference between you can educate one and not the other.

Him and his groupies have it wrong.

Duh huh June 12, 2014 at 9:39 am


idcydm June 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

I know many low information voters that do not have a low “IQ”, they seem to be evenly divided when it comes to “R”, “D” and “I”.

Duh huh June 12, 2014 at 10:08 am

Just remember that half the population has “below average” IQ, regardless of your anecdotes, and they all have the right to vote.

idcydm June 12, 2014 at 10:17 am

Did I say they didn’t have a right to vote, no I did not.

Half of all doctors and lawyers ended up in the bottom of their class also.

The point being, most people don’t pay attention to politics until elections and get most of their information from negative TV adds.

Duh huh June 12, 2014 at 10:32 am

lol…you’re proving my point…I never suggested you said they didn’t have a right to vote.

Not only that, comparing doctors/lawyers to the generation population in terms of IQ is so incredibly laughable that I’m not sure you’re getting any of my points.

idcydm June 12, 2014 at 10:40 am

You obviously don’t get my point either but that’s OK.

Fat Greg Dulli June 12, 2014 at 1:04 pm

I know plenty of doctors and lawyers that really are not very intellectually equipped outside of their areas of expertise.

Duh huh June 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

The point is, would you actually bet that the average IQ of doctors/lawyers is within even 10 deviation points of the general population?

Fat Greg Dulli June 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm

I have met doctors and lawyers that I would guess were within 10 points of the general population, yes. My next-door neighbor is a doctor and about as simple minded as they come. Maybe it’s an act, but I doubt it.

Duh huh June 12, 2014 at 9:20 pm

“average IQ….10 deviation points”

No way Jay, no friggin way.

Fat Greg Dulli June 12, 2014 at 9:59 pm

I’m not saying all of them DH, I’m saying I know some that are more than likely within 10 points.

Duh huh June 13, 2014 at 9:43 am

“AVERAGE” !!!!!

Deo Vindice SC June 12, 2014 at 11:18 am

I believe the latter is right, Nikki won, right.

Fat Greg Dulli June 12, 2014 at 9:42 am

There won’t be nearly as many as in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, bank!

The Colonel June 12, 2014 at 9:40 am

What self serving drivel – it’s a primary in an off year, of course the turn out is low. As it has been from time immemorial. No real issues to decide, no T-Rav to defeat – there really was no reason get worked up. 2010 was goobernatorial election year. 2008 was a presidential and senatorial election year in addition to House contests that had legitimate contenders in Brown/Ketner and Wilson/Miller.
Like it or not, the majority of South Carolinians are satisfied with Ms. Senator Lindsey.

Good comment! June 12, 2014 at 11:14 am

It’s interesting you bring up Scott, I just learned he ranks very high on the Goldman Sachs donation list(#2!!!!!) compared to his colleagues, with Clyburn not too far behind:

What a dubious honor…not a good indicator of where his loyalties lie either.

The Colonel June 12, 2014 at 11:28 am

Scott’s top ten donors:
total / Ind / PAC
1. Goldman Sachs $38,550 / $28,550 / $10,000
2. Elliott Management $37,650 / $37,650 / $0
3. Boeing Co $28,399 / $18,399 / $10,000
4. AFLAC Inc $26,000 / $17,000 / $9,000
5. Cancer Treatment Centers of America $25,300 / $25,300$0
6. Fluor Corp $24,850 / $16,350 / $8,500
7. Edens & Avant $21,313 / $21,313 / $0
8. New York Life Insurance$19,750 / $14,750 / $5,000
9. Harrison, White et al $18,600 / $18,600 / $0
10. Discovery Operating $16,600 / $16,600 / $0

Scooter June 12, 2014 at 11:11 pm

I would say that they are, by and large, in the right place.

Smirks June 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm

The majority of South Carolinians want a majority of broken things in this state to stay the same. You may hear tons of people complain about how things are, but they aren’t willing to actually rock the boat to get some of those things fixed.

We have open primaries. There is literally nothing stopping from people going to either primary and voting their mind. If people choose not to, then they’ve chosen to accept whoever does get selected, even if that selection was made by a shockingly small minority of the voting populace.

Lindsey won because a majority of voters voted for him, either by showing up and pulling the lever for him, or by staying home and not voting for someone other than him. I just hope the 84.08% that do actually show up in November aren’t going to bitch about the selection, though.

truefaith1 June 12, 2014 at 5:13 pm

they will though

EJB June 12, 2014 at 9:42 am

Can’t remember which state it was but their primary was a free-for-all, all candidates for either/any party ran and the top two (whether different parties or the same party) went on to the general election in November. I’m sure there is a downside to that but it seemed like a good idea, wouldn’t have to worry about cross party voting in primaries like ours (I don’t believe it happens much anyway).

Bible Thumper June 12, 2014 at 9:52 am

I think it’s California.

vicupstate June 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm

Yes, California and Louisiana also.

Tunes'n'News June 12, 2014 at 9:47 am

The public feels little connection to the parties. And the choices were underwhelming as hell.

But this article has nothing to do with Ravenel. QUIT PIMPING. Or just write an article admitting that’s what you are doing.

nitrat June 12, 2014 at 4:25 pm

It’s kind of pathetic that neither Sic or Ravenel grasp that Ravenel was convicted of a felony and sent to federal prison. That’s a little more substantial than Mark Sanford going to Argentina.
Ex-cons generally don’t get the kind of those who can’t keep it in their pants.
Can Ravenel vote or own a gun?

Constantine June 13, 2014 at 8:40 am

He can vote but he cant own a gun, thats why he wanted to give up his US citizenship

Rocky June 12, 2014 at 9:50 am

I suspect voters have surrendered to the corrupt nature of SC politics and simply said “Why Bother”

The Colonel June 12, 2014 at 9:59 am

Maybe some truth here – course the answer to “why bother” is of course the very nature of our politics…

Bible Thumper June 12, 2014 at 9:59 am

I wonder if the voters a disgusted by false adultery allegations by political operatives and dope dealing politicians. Maybe that is why they stay away.

Manray June 12, 2014 at 10:49 am

The political establishment of SC loves the fact that 84.08% of the voters didn’t bother to show up at the polls. Such indifference perpetuates the status quo of corruption and cronyism. It won’t change anytime soon…all the sheep say “baaa.”

Thomas June 12, 2014 at 11:04 am

One way to increase participation in our elections is to declare a holiday, Election Day, in November. All public schools will polling stations. Primaries will be held in June when schools are closed. A nation that votes together stays together. Churches will no longer be used as public polling stations. All poll workers will be trained and paid the federal minimum wage unless acting in their official capacities with state election offices. Run the school buses too if need be.

nitrat June 12, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Some countries have mandatory voting.

tomstickler June 12, 2014 at 11:08 am

Before you get down to the second decimal place in your despair over primary turnout, consider the accuracy of your numbers.

For example, a campaign I worked a bit on for this recent primary supposedly had 7151 registered voters. By the time I had identified all the dead, moved, assigned to the wrong district or duplicate (yes, duplicate) registrations, the number was down to 6580.

That is the numerator, for you math nerds out there, and its effect on the percentage turnout would be 21.44% by the “official” count, compared to 23.33% using the number of voters remaining after the cleanup.

My old Chemistry teacher would deduct from our grades if we gave an answer with more decimal places than were justified by the accuracy of the input data.

The numbers are still shamefully low.

tomstickler June 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I don’t know whether to be embarrassed for myself, or for the rest of you for not catching my math nerd mistake above. The 6580 number is the denominator, not the numerator.

Thus, the lesson endeth.

Deo Vindice SC June 12, 2014 at 11:27 am

Could be because SC politics are so BORING, how exciting it is to see which next ” R ” wins an election, yawn…

nitrat June 12, 2014 at 4:18 pm

If the races were competitive, they wouldn’t be so boring. If people had widely different choices, they would come out.
This is what happens when you have gerrymandered districts to be as safe for ‘your’ side as you can get them, with a few thrown as bones to the minority to keep them quiet.
I don’t think Republicans want people to vote. That’s why so many want to go back to state legislators electing US senators. They want elections to be as elitist and closed as possible.
But, hey, only 12% of the electorate voted in Eric Cantor’s race and people act like it was 92%.

Mike at the Beach June 12, 2014 at 4:38 pm

The FITS News “Ravenel grasping” has now officially reached a new level – Double secret probation shameful. No one (except Will) cares what that clown has to say about the Primary election. Okay, I retract that; only about 2-3% of South Carolinians care about what Ravenel says (about anything).

Tomocchio June 12, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Shit happens.

wolverine June 12, 2014 at 8:44 pm

why should I even bother to vote when the outcomes are already determined and no incumbents care about my interests?

Scooter June 12, 2014 at 11:07 pm

Nothing wrong with that figure. They would not know how and who to vote if their preacher did not tell them.

MashPotato June 13, 2014 at 12:15 am

Remove campaign finance regulations to get more candidates in the elections and more voters to the polls. There’s not enough money in politics.

Bryan Wqsc Crabtree June 13, 2014 at 5:12 am

I think people have just been beaten into submission by this awful politicians who don’t pay attention and do nothing in the interest of the people; combine that with the generally non-compelling messages of most of the opponents and people figured a vote for anyone other than Linsdsey Graham was a waste of time, so they stayed home.

Gregory Geddings June 13, 2014 at 7:21 am

From the nimble mind of George Carlin:

“Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations that’ve long since bought and paid for, the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pocket, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and the information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them.”

GrandTango June 13, 2014 at 8:14 am

STFU FITS…The Democrats will still lose, no matter what percentage votes.

Quit your F*#king whining. If you put Obama on the ballot, you liberals will vote 10 times each…and that’s the only way you failed Dumb@$$#$ can ever win…

And w/ Haley’s Voter ID, that is in jeopardy. And that’s what reallly P!$$#$ off your Stupid @$$….

Ken Harris June 13, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Please South Carolina the fate of America depends on you guys this fall! Get rid of Lindsey Graham! He cares nothing about you and he is a sell out to special interest groups like AIPAC that have destroyed the country for all of us! You can change the course South Carolina! Vote Lindsey Gone! Save America!

Ken Harris June 13, 2014 at 10:56 pm

Don’t be discouraged South Carolina there is power in numbers! They just got rid of that creep Cantor in Virginia you guys can vote out Graham! He is nothing but a war monger and he has misused our military and sold them out to his special interest master AIPAC! There is a better way for all of America! UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL! You can do it South Carolina! Save your state and your country! Save all of our kids futures Lindsey is a monster!

Limbaughsaphatkhunt June 17, 2014 at 12:09 am

Once again…it’s something that will never happen in America, but makes sense and works elsewhere in the world…and it’s called….

Mandatory Voting


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