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#SCMatrix: 6/7/2018

Palmetto political updates …

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As the clock ticks down to next Tuesday’s partisan primary elections in South Carolina, our news site has been inundated with information related to a multitude of races.  In an effort to get more content into the bloodstream (and better inform voters), we’ve decided to introduce a daily series entitled SC Matrix.

Why do we call it that?  Because that’s what our email inbox looks like lately … “The Matrix,” an eternally cascading barrage of binary code made famous by the iconic 1999 science fiction thriller.

How will our ‘Matrix’ work?  Short answer: We’ll see …  (a.k.a. we don’t really know yet).

We envision individual time stamped entries (snippets) related to various races.  That could be news briefs, tips/ responses from our readers, polls, tweets … you name it.  Basically a catchall …. sort of like our election night “live blogs.”

Got something you’d like us to include in the ‘Matrix?’  Email it to us …

Oh, and click back often for updated content …

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#SC1: KATIE ARRINGTON TIED WITH MARK SANFORD

9:46 p.m. EDT: Somebody cue the #UpsetAlert hashtag …

According to reporter Schuyler Kropf of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, the race for the South Carolina first congressional district (#SC1) – which was supposed to be on lockdown for #NeverTrump congressman Mark Sanford – is a dead heat.

Kropf cites a poll conducted by Momentum National showing Sanford with the support of 39.7 percent of registered voters compared to 39 percent for his challenger, Katie Arrington.  That’s an infinitesimally small difference of only 0.7 percent – with 21.3 percent of respondents undecided.

(Click to view)

(Via: Sam Holland via S.C. House of Representatives)

We’ve been writing for weeks about how Arrington had Sanford on the ropes … and it looks like this poll is more evidence that we were right.

Wait … more evidence?

That’s right.  The survey cited by Kropf is consistent with internal polling we have seen in this race … numbers which we’re told have been passed up through numerous channels at the White House in the hopes of getting U.S. president Donald Trump to support Arrington.

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#SC4: JOSH KIMBRELL’S SCARY IMMIGRATION MAILER

9:40 p.m. EDT: Upstate radio host/ businessman/ Spartanburg County “Republican” party chairman Josh Kimbrell is out with a new mail piece in the crowded, increasingly costly battle for the Palmetto State’s fourth congressional district (#SC4).

The focus of the mail piece is illegal immigration, and it’s a little scary if you ask us …

(Click to view)

(Via: Provided)

What’s scarier than this mail piece, though?  Kimbrell’s record on immigration …

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#SCGOV: ENDORSEMENTS FOR HENRY McMASTER

9:22 p.m. EDT: Embattled incumbent governor Henry McMaster picked up several endorsements in the South Carolina Lowcountry on Thursday evening.  McMaster’s flagging campaign was backed by state senator Larry Grooms, state representative Lin Bennett, state representative Nancy Mace, Mount Pleasant, S.C. mayor Will Haynie and congressional medal of honor recipient Jim Livingston.

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#SCGOV: EARLY RETURNS

7:51 p.m. EDT:  The man on the move in the 2018 “Republican” gubernatorial primary is Upstate businessman John Warren.  In fact, several recent polls show him passing Lowcountry labor attorney Catherine Templeton in the race for second place in this race.   That’s the “sweet spot” in this race given the declining political fortunes of incumbent “Republican” governor Henry McMaster.

Whoever winds up in second place will be the favorite to knock off McMaster two weeks later in a runoff election.

Will it be Warren?  We may know the answer to that question early on election night … earlier than you might think.

Former S.C. political strategist Chris Slick tells us he thinks absentee voting will give an early indication as to how well Warren might do.

“Because Greenville’s John Warren started gaining very noticeable momentum about 10-14 days after absentee voting started, it would seem that he will do better on Election Day and perhaps worse on absentee balloting,” Slick told us.  “If that holds true – if Warren does even decently well in absentee balloting (which is normally tallied before anything else) – it should tell us a great deal about what the night ahead holds for the GOP gubernatorial race.”

Interesting analysis … thanks Chris!

***

#SC2018: HUGE WIN FOR ALAN WILSON

7:17 p.m. EDT:  There’s been precious little polling in down ballot races this year, but we know once-embattled S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson is hoping to avoid a runoff in his race against ethically challenged state lawmaker Todd Atwater and Upstate lawyer William Herlong.

Well guess what … Wilson just got some very, very good news as this race heads for the finish line.  A federal judge has ruled in his favor (well, the state’s favor) regarding the proposed shutdown of the mixed oxide fuel (a.k.a. “MOX”) program at the Savannah River Site (SRS).

We don’t support Wilson in his bid to block the shuttering this boondoggle, but there is no denying his initial victory in this case is a huge political win.

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#SCGOV: “McMASTER DISASTER” CONTINUES

6:36 p.m. EDT: We’ve heard from several voters in Richland County, South Carolina this evening who tell us they received not one, not two, but three mailings from incumbent “Republican” governor Henry McMasteron the same day.

Here’s one of them, touting McMaster’s efforts against those pesky sanctuary cities.

(Click to view)

(Via: Provided)

One of the other mailings addressed McMaster’s economic record (which is abysmal and is NOT something we would be bragging about if we were him), but that’s beside the point.  The point is this: Three pieces hitting mailboxes on the same day is a sign of terrible campaign management.

“McMaster can’t afford to be making these types of mistakes,” one GOP strategist unaffiliated with any of the gubernatorial campaigns told us.  “That’s so bad, the mail schedule, that it’s pretty close to malfeasance, and if not it’s certainly embarrassing. Hell, I’m embarrassed FOR the McMaster campaign.”

Indeed … McMaster’s campaign has been a disaster from the beginning, and appears as though it will continue to be up to the bitter end.

***

#SCGOV: NEW JAMES SMITH DIGITAL SPOT

5:37 p.m. EDT: Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner James Smith’s campaign seems pretty proud of this digital spot …

An Afghan War veteran and former S.C. House minority leader, Smith is the perceived frontrunner in a three-way race for the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nomination.  Is he?  There’s been precious little polling on this race (ahem) but the only poll that matters is now just six days away.

So we shall see …

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