I read your article on the Democrats getting destroyed yet again in South Carolina and I’ve got to say that this article hit the nail on the head. However, there are a few things that I’d like to point out.
Joe Cunningham’s rollout and announcement of his candidacy for governor was underwhelming. A lot of people I spoke to, especially black people, didn’t even know that he was running. Joe seemed a bit out of touch and didn’t address a lot of the issues that would appeal to the democratic base, especially among black democrats. It also seemed like he wanted to alienate a lot of the older voters. Joe used his time on the national news (CNN) and local news to go after the age of President Joe Biden and the most influential black democrat in South Carolina, Rep. Jim Clyburn. Going after the largest voting group (older voters) was a huge mistake and I knew it.
After this interview I sent him a DM via Twitter and told him that he was making a huge mistake. I also tried to reach out to his campaign manager to give them advice on how to reach out to black voters (they felt like they were left out of the conversation) but was unsuccessful in my attempt. Most voters in South Carolina vote straight ticket (something that needs to be a thing of the past) and most of the Democratic candidates suffered because of this. I was stunned when I reviewed my sample ballot and saw how many Republicans were running unopposed. We weren’t even close to being competitive in this cycle.
Running Kystle Matthews against Tim Scott was a mistake. I don’t think she was ready for this as proven by the numbers. Lots of voters didn’t know who she was and were unfamiliar with her work (this is the fault of her campaign and voters for not paying attention).
The state attorney Alan Wilson ran unopposed – which I don’t understand why when we had Marlon Kimpson right there! This was such a missed opportunity.
The overall concern I have with Democrats in South Carolina is it seems like most have given into the notion that we’re a red state and that’s that. It seems like the DNC believes this as well. We don’t get a lot of support or resources from the DNC and as you pointed out in your article and I mentioned above, look at the amount of candidates that went unopposed this election cycle. The turnout among Dems, again as you pointed out, wasn’t as low as 2014 but it wasn’t good. Almost all of the Democrats running lost!
I don’t know what will happen with Democrats in South Carolina but I do believe that things can change. However, we have to energize and inspire our voters, give them a little hope. If pointing out that South Carolina is dead last in almost all areas that actually matter (education, healthcare, crime etc.) and how that impacts their lives doesn’t inspire them then I don’t know what will. I know that I will work extremely hard to make sure that we make progress. I don’t think it’s hard to do, I just think we need people who aren’t afraid to jump in head first with new ideas and the tenacity to push forward despite the red wave that just crashed into South Carolina.
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