Hard to believe but there is political news beyond the latest stupid, corrupt, or insane thing Donald Trump just did. With all votes counted in yesterday’s Republican primary for the open South Carolina’s 5th District seat, it would appear we are heading for a recount.
By a margin of just 200 votes former state Rep. Ralph Norman finished ahead of state House Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope (50.3 to 49.7 percent). The margin is close enough to force an automatic recount, under state law.
The winner will face Democrat Archie Parnell. According to Roll Call, “Democrats would rather face Norman, the more conservative of the two candidates who has said he’d join the House Freedom Caucus.”
[T]he primary runoff has evolved into a more typical tug-of-war between two factions of the Republican Party. While the Club for Growth stood with Norman, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce backed Pope.
Former Rep. Mick Mulvaney held the seat until Trump made him his budget director.
Those who rate elections seem to think this one is safely Republican.
With the current insanity in Washington perhaps something miraculous could happen for the Democrats. They point to the fact that the losing Democratic congressional candidate in the SC-5th District in November received a higher percentage of the vote than did the Democrats in districts in Kansas and Georgia, where there have been special elections this year. Add to that Trump won the SC-5th District by 9 points fewer than he carried Kansas’ 4th District in November. The Republicans held the Kansas seat in an April 11th special election but only by about 7 points. And the polling for the Georgia 6th District is razor thin.
Another interesting fact is that when Mick Mulvaney defeated long-serving Congressman John Spratt in 2010 he became the first Republican since Robert Smalls and the end of Reconstruction to represent the district.
And still, few are giving Democrats a chance here. Curious.