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The Nikki Haley “Mandate”




By WILL FOLKS  ||  So … I’ve pretty well been getting bitch-slapped across the internet this week.  First, there was the massive cyber attack launched on my website during its election night coverage … then there was the incredibly well-written column by FITS’ newest contributor, Taylor Brown.

You know … the one in which the impotence of my editorial impact was laid bare.

Ouch … and ouch.  And of course who can forget that my ex-“client” and political nemesis – Nikki Haley – cruised to reelection in South Carolina’s gubernatorial race.  By a huge margin, too.

Bad news, huh?  For South Carolina, yes.  In addition to her habitual dishonesty and perpetual scandals, Haley has advanced a liberal agenda on taxesspendingeducation and (most notably) government-subsidized health care.

That status quo now rolls on … with what we expect will be predictable results.

Of course Haley’s win is good for those of use who are in the business of making news.  She’s once again a star on the national stage – and a major draw for “Republican” candidates courting the Palmetto State’s “First in the South” presidential primary voters.

But is Haley’s big win as big as you might initially be inclined to think?

No …

During the 2010 election – the one she narrowly won – Haley received 690,525 votes.  That was good for 51.4 percent of the popular vote.  This election, Haley got 56 percent of the popular vote – but her actual vote total was basically unchanged.

A few more votes have yet to be counted, but Haley is currently sitting at 694,436 votes – or just 4,000 more than she got four years ago.

So …. is that a mandate?

Eh …

As it stands now, only 43.6 percent of the state’s 2.8 million registered voters showed up to cast ballots on Tuesday.  That’s down from 51.9 percent in 2010.   And while we get that “decisions are made by those who show up” (or whatever it was Aaron Sorkin wrote),  So the real story isn’t that more people supported Haley (few actually did) – it’s that far fewer people supported her inept Democratic opponent, S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen.

In 2010, Sheheen got 630,534 votes (or 47 percent of the popular vote).  This go-round Sheheen only pulled 513,932 votes … which, yeah, is why he lost.

I know my intrepid new columnist Taylor is exceedingly eager to score some points in the aftermath of this week’s “Republican” romp.  But before getting too far ahead of herself, she might want to check the precise dimensions of that Haley “mandate.”

Pic: Travis Bell Photography