National Politics - 2016

“First In The South” Fallout

It’s over … There’s a winner. And a loser. And an order of finish. And a lot of “butthurt” among supporters of the various candidates … not to mention a certain website (ahem) that got completely taken out by hackers during the week leading up to the election. Yeah ……

It’s over …

There’s a winner. And a loser. And an order of finish. And a lot of “butthurt” among supporters of the various candidates … not to mention a certain website (ahem) that got completely taken out by hackers during the week leading up to the election.

Yeah …

Such is the fallout from South Carolina’s 2016 “First in the South” presidential primary … possibly the last time the Palmetto State gets a shot at early-voting to elect the leader of the formerly free world (and definitely the last time if U.S. Senator Marco Rubio gets his way).

All that’s left now is to mop up the blood on the floor and start putting together a picture of the 2016 presidential race as it leaves our fair state …


david beasley and donald trump

DONALD TRUMP had a “yuge” night in South Carolina. There’s no getting around it. Pummeled by a relentless barrage of negative attacks in the days leading up to the election, he held on to claim a double-digit victory in a state that no one could have possibly imagined would go his way a year ago. Trump also served notice on the national level – winning his second consecutive primary contest by a convincing margin over his nearest competitor. As our friends over at Market Research Foundation noted, Trump has demonstrated his “cross-sectional GOP support” – winning big in a centrist, more libertarian-leaning state like New Hampshire as well as a conservative, evangelical-heavy state like South Carolina. Other “Republican” candidates have boasted of being heirs to Ronald Reagan, but Trump is the one demonstrating the sort of broad appeal the former president embodied.

According to Zero Hedge, “this is no longer a matter of whether (Trump) can make a serious run at the presidency, it’s now a matter of whether Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio can mount a serious challenge.”

Indeed … Trump also cleaned up on the delegate count, capturing all fifty of South Carolina’s delegates to the 2016 GOP convention.



DEMOCRACY was alive and well in the Palmetto State on Saturday. A whopping 742,715 people turned out to vote in the “First in the South” primary – a 22.6 percent increase over 2012. What do we make of that surge in turnout? See the next “winner.”



ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT candidates did exceedingly well in this year’s “First in the South” showdown. In 2012, candidates with the support of the GOP establishment (a.k.a. everybody but Ron Paul) captured more than four-fifths of the vote. This year, Trump, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson combined to get 62 percent of the vote. That’s a script flip, people.



HENRY McMASTER … the South Carolina lieutenant governor has been repeatedly dogged out by this website for being stupid. In fact six years ago, when we did a list of the state’s most powerful politicians, we actually used a picture of a “box of rocks” for McMaster’s face. No one is laughing at McMaster now, though. His endorsement of Trump was a coup for “The Donald” – not to mention the first shot across the bow of the state’s old guard GOP, which had been expected to line up behind the candidacy of former Florida governor Jeb Bush. McMaster made a bold, unexpected move – repudiating his longtime political cronies in the process – and it paid off for him big time.



MARCO RUBIO (or the “Republican” robot controlling him) rallied in South Carolina after a dismal showing in New Hampshire. Already on the verge of overtaking Cruz for second place in South Carolina, three days before the election Rubio added S.C. governor Nikki Haley‘s status quo seal of approval to previous endorsements from U.S. Senator Tim Scott and U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy. All that “new status quo” firepower – combined with a boatload of special interest cash – probably should have propelled Rubio to a more convincing second-place victory over Cruz, but as noted previously it’s not exactly an establishment GOP kind of year. Still, he emerges from South Carolina with only one more left-leaning “Republican” – Ohio governor John Kasich – left to vanquish.




ESTABLISHMENT REPUBLICANS, their consultants and their big-money donors got kicked squarely in the balls in South Carolina. Sure, their latest standard-bearer Rubio will claim “Marcomentum” heading into the rest of the “Republican” primary calendar, but remember – the Palmetto State was supposed to be the crown jewel of Rubio’s “3-2-1” early-state strategy. He was supposed to finish third in the Iowa Caucuses, second in New Hampshire and win in the “First in the South” primary. Instead he finished third, fifth and a distant second in those three states. And that’s the GOP’s “boy” moving forward.

Also, just look at the list of well-funded status quo “Republicans” who dropped out of the race before it even got to South Carolina – and the dollars they spent. We’re talking about Wisconsin governor Scott Walker ($32.4 million spent on his bid), New Jersey governor Chris Christie ($26.6 million), former Texas governor Rick Perry ($16.6 million), U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina ($14.7 million) and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee ($9.9 million), to name a few.

People simply aren’t buying what establishment “Republicans” are selling this year …


danni letter 003

JEB BUSH was clearly the biggest loser in South Carolina – because he didn’t make it out. Bush suspended his presidential campaign less than two hours after the polls closed – en route to an anemic 7.84 percent fourth-place finish. Bush’s father won South Carolina in 1988 and again in 1992. His brother also won the state in 2000. South Carolina was supposed to be “Bush Country,” and a year ago Jeb! and his exclamation-point endowed candidacy were leading the pack. But then Trump happened – and the air completely deflated from the Bush balloon. Still, Jeb! entered South Carolina with the backing of home-state Senator Lindsey Graham, former U.S. ambassador David Wilkins (see below) and top Palmetto political strategist Richard Quinn (see below) He also campaigned with his brother, mother and other family members.

None of it mattered … nor did the millions of dollars spent by his campaign and the Right to Rise PAC. As of last week, Right to Rise had spent a whopping $95.7 promoting Bush and attacking his rivals.

Adding insult to injury? The fact that the Bushes got flat out punked in South Carolina by Nikki Haley …



TED CRUZ – the winner of the Iowa Caucuses – needed to do a lot better in South Carolina than a bronze medal. His Jesus-themed campaign was built from the ground up to compete in a state just like this – and coming on the heels of a better-than-expected third place showing in New Hampshire many thought he might even challenge Trump for the win. That clearly didn’t happen. Instead Cruz – who went on the attack against “The Donald” early and often in this race – coughed up a seven-point lead over Rubio during the final ten days of the campaign. As a result he wound up missing second place by a mere 1,068 votes (or 0.14 percent).

Amazing, isn’t it? Flip this razor-thin margin in the other direction and you’ve got quite a different national narrative coming out of the Palmetto State.

Cruz obviously still has the money and the manpower necessary to remain competitive over the remainder of the “Republican” primary season, but a third place finish in South Carolina was a major blow to his momentum.



LINDSEY GRAHAM – South Carolina’s senior United States Senator – suffered through the indignity of seeing his own presidential campaign turn into a national joke. This included the abject humiliation of having to drop out of the race while polling at less than two percent in his home state. Not long after his unceremonious exit, Graham endorsed Bush – a nod the former Florida governor hailed as a “very meaningful” endorsement that came with “a lot of friends and supporters of his.”

Ummm … a lot?

Graham’s candidacy froze a ton of institutional support in the Palmetto State early on in the race – support that wound up going to Bush in the end.

What was it worth? Nothing.



DAVID WILKINS is an immensely powerful insider lobbyist who previously served as Speaker of the S.C. House and U.S ambassador to Canada under George W. Bush. A major fundraiser, he’s been long-regarded as one of the most influential “kingmakers” in the socially conservative Upstate region of South Carolina.

Not anymore. Wilkins went “all in” for Bush – and lost big.


sic willie

FITSNEWS.COM was primed for its biggest week of traffic ever as the “First in the South” primary approached. The national political circus was in town, and his irreverent, anti-establishment website – which boasts a large and loyal local audience – was poised to dominate the discussion. Then disaster struck – namely a massive, sophisticated cyberattack that left the website crippled for the vast majority of the week. FITS’ founding editor Will Folks did his best to put a good face on it – referring to the suspiciously-timed attack as a “badge of honor” pinned on him by his enemies. Perhaps it was. There can be no doubt it was a tremendous missed opportunity, though.



RICHARD QUINN is the last of the South Carolina mega-consultants, and the only GOP advisor who can honestly lay claim to still having an “empire” in the Palmetto State. Well guess what … it certainly appears as though the emperor has no clothes. Quinn took Graham from 15 percent to less than two percent in his own backyard – then aligned his forces with Bush down the homestretch.

Talk about going from one disaster to another …

The real damage to Quinn? The surprising defection of Henry McMaster to Trump’s campaign. Not only did the lieutenant governor’s bold move create an immediate problem for the “Quinndom,” its impact is likely to extend far beyond the “First in the South” primary.



MUSLIMS AND MEXICANS across America aren’t going to be remotely happy with the “First in the South” results. According to exit polling, a whopping 73 percent of South Carolinians said they agreed with Donald Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslim immigration into America. There was also widespread support for Trump’s call to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border – and make Mexico pay for it.

Obviously not all of those South Carolina voters cast their ballots for Trump, but more than enough did to give him a comfortable margin of victory in the Palmetto State.


nikki haley

NIKKI HALEY should have been a clear “winner” coming out of this primary. After all, her candidate of choice managed to earn a second place finish after being left for dead just eleven days earlier – and she’s getting most of the credit for that in the national press.

Still, Haley’s late-in-the-game endorsement of Marco Rubio came at a time when his campaign was already on the verge of overtaking Ted Cruz for second place – giving it more of a “game-watching” than a “game-changing” feel. Also, Rubio barely won second place – by a little over a tenth of one percent – and actually fell short of both the final percentage and vote count posted by Haley’s 2012 candidate of choice, Mitt Romney.

In other words Haley’s endorsement probably wasn’t as big as it was billed.

That’s not her real problem, though …

Haley continues trying to make a name for herself on the national stage by bashing conservatives within her own party (i.e. the people who elected her governor in 2010). That’s all well and good assuming her endgame is more fawning coverage from the liberal Washington, D.C. media, but at some point Haley has to realize the walls are closing in on the GOP establishment.


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idcydm February 21, 2016 at 10:25 pm

So McMaster is your buddy now. Endorsements, do you really think they sway anyone, low information voters maybe but if they’re low information they wouldn’t find this obscure site anyway.

Mike February 22, 2016 at 8:08 am

MCMaster did well by endorsing Trump. He handled it with grace and wit and I was proud of him.

Bible Thumper February 22, 2016 at 7:02 am is redirecting to I guess the drama is over and all is back to normal.

Flip February 22, 2016 at 9:26 am

Whoever has it out for Will is probably going to hit him again in November. I wonder if the cops can look at potential suspects ahead of time.

Might see one fewer poster from Ohio if they catch him.

pogo February 22, 2016 at 9:35 am

Keep making threats and you will be able to read FitsNews from the prison library.I had nothing to do with it and had a personal email apparently hacked myself.I am as IT functional as Hillary.

Karma is a bitch.I hope ya’ll learned your lesson.Getting drunk at 2:00 A.M. in the morning and stalking bloggers can’t be good for business?

tomstickler February 22, 2016 at 9:54 am

Maybe one of these days you will decide on a permanent screen name — maybe even be able to keep a Disqus account alive for more than a week — and own your words instead of hiding behind a different alias every other post.

Nah, probably not.

pogo February 22, 2016 at 9:57 am

pogo is the name.Maybe one day you will get on your knees and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you for advocating/working for the destruction of the most vulnerable in our society-the unborn.

mamatiger92 February 22, 2016 at 10:17 am

Thinking you might want to hit your knees tonight, too.

pogo February 22, 2016 at 10:20 am

Please don’t think for me.You are an intellectual buffoon that can’t even think for yourself.Please give us one of your ‘gems’ like +10 or ‘pass the popcorn’….:) Oh my!!!!

KellyBoi February 22, 2016 at 8:39 am

David Beasley moved in for some Trump cred once he saw the poll numbers. Gosh these wannabes just a shameless in their pursuit f power and prestige.

SC's Biggest Loser. February 22, 2016 at 10:07 am

All Beasley had to do was behave for 4 short years and get re-elected, Then do the stupid stuff. But he thought god endorsed him for President when Campbell’s machine gave him the governor’s office. Stupid, thy name is David Beasley.

The Colonel (R) February 22, 2016 at 8:42 am

Where does Tommy (the thirteen year old who lives across the street and acts as the “CIO”) fit in to all this?

mamatiger92 February 22, 2016 at 8:46 am Reply
pogo February 22, 2016 at 9:29 am

LMAO!!! Look at the voter turnout That is what this election is all about.Who gets their ‘folks’ out. Hillary lost hispanics and these young people aren’t gonna turn out for her

Keep it rolling Clintoncunts and Sandersnazi’s.

mamatiger92 February 22, 2016 at 9:35 am

If you don’t think Dems will turn out in DROVES if Trump is the nominee, then you are living in a fantasy world. He is probably the ONLY Rep candidate that will get them to turn out. Just wait and see.

pogo February 22, 2016 at 9:38 am

Voters are already turning out in droves for Trump.The black Muslim messiah ain’t running and the hispanic vote matters not as whites,independents and Reagan Democrats carry Trump to a landslide victory.

Trump has you socialists scared shit less.

mamatiger92 February 22, 2016 at 9:39 am

Keep it rolling, baby. Keep it rolling. This is awesome.

bobbymac February 22, 2016 at 10:10 am

68.5% of Republicans voted for someone other than Trump and he gets all the delegates? I have had so many of my Republican friends tell me that if Trump wins the Republican nomination that they will vote for Hillary or stay home.. If Trump wins the nomination, Hillary will win in a landslide.

pogo February 22, 2016 at 10:12 am

I have had many of my Democrat friends tell me they will not for for Hillary and will vote for Trump.

mamatiger92 February 22, 2016 at 10:14 am

LMAO. Riiiight.

pogo February 22, 2016 at 10:16 am

And many of my black friends I officiate with tell me they ain’t voting for Hillary.Sucks to be a Democrat these days.

bobbymac February 22, 2016 at 10:21 am

Could be one of the craziest elections in history…both sides are on the path to nominate the candidate with the highest negatives in their field. I think more people will vote for someone they perceive as untrustworthy but competent than will vote for crazy and prejudiced but who knows. It is going to be fun to watch and I am sure Will is loving it!

pogo February 22, 2016 at 10:23 am

Hillary is crazy and prejudice.Good points.

mamatiger92 February 22, 2016 at 10:16 am

The beauty is that Trump supporters just won’t accept that fact.

pogo February 22, 2016 at 10:18 am

Hillary will be indicted and it will all be a moot point.Once Sanders is exposed as the communist weirdo he is, won’t win a state.

stumpknocker February 22, 2016 at 10:39 am

i’m hearing the same thing too, a lot or republicans are just plain embarrassed over what their party is coming to.

Torch February 22, 2016 at 12:31 pm

If Trump or Cruz get the nomination, I’ll be finding folks to drive to the polls to vote and not for Trump/Cruz.

mamatiger92 February 22, 2016 at 9:55 am

Nice language, by the way. Stay classy, flip.

pogo February 22, 2016 at 9:58 am

Oh.Calling people that support Trump ‘tards’ is real classy?

stumpknocker February 22, 2016 at 11:08 am

a trump nomination = a lot of senate seat pick ups

erneba February 22, 2016 at 9:34 am

Sorting out the “winners,” “losers,” and those afflicted with varying degrees of “butt hurt” is harder than Chinese arithmetic.
The truth for the Republican party is a variable deduced by subtracting “what is” from “what ought to be.” And that appears to be a large negative integer at the present.

It is confusing, Rubio appears to be the candidate of the Republican establishment and the only candidate that can defeat Hillary, based on current polling.
I still don’t see Trump defeating Hillary, not even a Trump/Rubio ticket.

pogo February 22, 2016 at 9:45 am

I disagree with you sir. I believe Trump can win in a landslide. This election is 100% about illegal immigration and closing these borders.I would vote for Rubio however I don’t believe he can be trusted on immigration-just yesterday he started babbling about getting the votes of people that ‘don’t look like us’? WTF?Don’t get me started on that fraud Haley.A Rubio/Haley ticket would go up in flames.

They screw Trump by playing games with these primaries and denying him the nomination and the Republican Party is finished. If Trump wins the Democrat Party is finished.They need a new class of voters and Trump would deny them that.

mamatiger92 February 22, 2016 at 10:04 am

Polls say otherwise.

erneba February 22, 2016 at 11:15 am

The one wild card in the race for the presidency that would accrue to Trump’s favor in a Trump/Hillary contest is an indictment/charges filed by the Obama administration. If the FBI calls for an indictment against Hillary, and the Obama administration does not press charges, Hillary will not lose very much support. Her constituency hates the Republicans more than they love Hillary. If charges are filed, by Lynch’s DOJ, that would surprise me and could cost Hillary the election.
The run-of-the-mill Democrat in the streets would still be for Hillary, it would cost her the votes on the fringe, voters not committed to the party, but committed to a far-left political philosophy.

The Colonel (R) February 22, 2016 at 9:38 am

Who won the Republican Primary in South Carolina in 2012 – President Newt right?

Manray9 February 22, 2016 at 11:06 am

In a line of endeavor replete with gutless, transparent, phonies Nikki Haley is among the most transparent. Is Rubio foolish enough to allow her to hitch her wagon to his candidacy? I suppose so. It doesn’t say much for his judgment.

erneba February 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm

The concentration of this conversation has boiled down to what a terrible Presidential candidate that Trump will be in the race against Hillary. And yes, I don’t think he will do as well as Rubio against Hillary. I think Rubio would handily beat Clinton.
All this conjecture is minus any ill effects that a pending FBI investigation into her handling of classified documents and what that may produce. If there is an indictment and she is charged, the ballgame takes on a different perspective. There is the possibility that she would have to withdraw in a worst case scenario for her.
Just getting her face back in the NEWS associated with that debacle is not good for her.

This race is far from over, even with Trump leading the parade for the Republicans. Just sit back, relax, and see where Hillary’s dishonesty takes this election.

Esef Brewer February 23, 2016 at 12:55 am

For now, Trump is a hero in my book for calling out the liar Jeb Bush, and his lying worthless brother. Buh bye Bush.

Now that Jeb is gone, that leaves Rafael Cruz as the single most despicable liar left in the campaign. If the weirdo Cruz wants to keep his senate seat in Texas he best drop out by Aril 1st, at the latest. The Texas GOP establishment despises Cruz and is considering a primary candidate to destroy him. The longer the lunatic Cruz stays in the race, the better Trump’s chances are, and the higher the possibility Cruz will lose his coveted senate seat..


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