Received an e-mail today from the Virginia Democratic Party who is helping out with GOTV efforts for today's special election for South Carolina's 1st Congressional District between disgraced former Governor Mark Sanford (R. SC) and Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D. SC):
I just got off the phone with my counterpart in South Carolina -- the Democratic Party’s Executive Director Amanda Loveday.

She needs our help today:


South Carolina voters are at the polls right now, and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch is running neck and neck against disgraced former Governor Mark Sanford.

You know that in special elections like this one, turnout can be low. Just a few votes -- and a few phone calls to voters -- can be the difference between winning and Mark Sanford going to Congress.

Canvassers are fanning out across South Carolina today, but they need reinforcements -- they’re asking Democrats like us to call in from around the country to make sure we’re doing every last thing possible to get people to the polls.

This race is close and it’s all hands on deck.

Will you make five calls right now?


In just 6 months, we’ll be asking our friends in South Carolina -- and Democratic activists across the country -- to pitch in and help us elect Terry McAuliffe and Democrats up and own the ticket here in the Commonwealth.

But first, it’s our turn to help.

I told Amanda we have the hardest working volunteers in the country. Will you help prove me right by making five calls right now?

Click here to start making calls to elect Elizabeth Colbert Busch:


Yours in the fight,

Lauren Harmon

DPVA Executive Director

P.S. You can click here to learn more about Elizabeth Colbert Busch:


You can click here to sign up for making phone calls:


By the way, Congressman Alan Grayson (D. FL-09) sent me another e-mail today in support of Colbert Busch and says that she would be a great ally in protecting Social Security from cuts:

It's time to support a candidate who says that she won't cut Social Security and Medicare. And it's time to fight against one who promises that he will.
Let's start with Republican House candidate Mark Sanford. Go to the eponymous website marksanford.com. You'll find a slew of "talking points" that right-wingers use to rationalize cruel cuts against seniors. Mark Sanford wants to rob Social Security for the same reason that Willie Sutton robbed banks: because that's where the money is. "Mark believes that entitlement reform is key simply because that is where the bulk of all federal spending takes place." (Isn't it funny how the phrase "entitlement reform" always means cuts? What was Hurricane Katrina -- "urban renewal"?)

Here's more: Sanford "believes that programs like Social Security and Medicare represent a promise to our citizens that must be kept for existing beneficiaries, but that we have to modernize these programs for future retirees...." So if you're under 65 -- and you've been working hard and paying into the program for your whole adult life -- Mark Sanford is ready, willing and able to break that promise to you. As far as Mark Sanford is concerned, if you're under 65, then you can jump in the lake, tell it to the Marines, kick the bucket, shut your face, pound salt, pound sand, suck eggs, buzz off, get lost, clear out, stick it, stuff it, and pack it in. All of the above, and all at once.

Help stop Mark Sanford from cutting Social Security and Medicare:


Now here is what Sanford's opponent, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, has to say. "I believe that our seniors earned their Social Security by putting money away [in] every single paycheck for a lifetime -- knowing that they could count on Social Security when they retired..... Simply put, Social Security doesn't contribute to the deficit, and politicians should keep their hands off the trust fund."

And here's the clincher. Colbert Busch says that she "respectfully disagrees" with the President's budget -- not an easy position to take, when you might need his support in your campaign -- because "it would cut benefits for our seniors, which is wrong."

You go, girl.

So we have one candidate, Mark Sanford, who would cut Social Security, and we have one candidate, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who would not. Whose side are you on? And what are you willing to do about it? To help Elizabeth Colbert Busch beat Mark Sanford, click here:



Rep. Alan Grayson

Hopefully Colbert Busch's fundraising edge will help her win this race tonight:


House Majority PAC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee have spent big to boost Colbert Busch, while national Republicans have left Sanford out to dry. The result has been an incredibly one-sided outside-group spending war, as the chart below shows. The data come from a Sunlight Foundation tally of independent expenditures.
House Majority PAC and the DCCC have been by far the biggest outside spenders. Taken together, the two groups spent about $884,000 on independent expenditures. Sanford has gotten no help from the NRCC. His biggest ally has been Independent Women’s Voice, a conservative-leaning non-profit organization. which has poured in about $160,000.

Colbert Busch outraised Sanford more than 2-1 – $878,000 to 375,000 — between mid-March and mid-April. And by the end of that period, Colbert Busch had spent $941,000 throughout the entire race, compared to Sanford’s $624,000, according to campaign finance records.

Sanford made a homestretch fundraising push (Gov. Nikki Haley (R) helped him raise money last week), but Colbert Busch kept pace with big donors, as the following Sunlight Foundation chart shows.

- Washington Post, 5/7/13
Politico listed six factors that could determine this race:


1. Black voters

For Colbert Busch to pull off an upset, she needs black voters, who make up around 20 percent of the electorate and comprise a large portion of the district’s Democratic base, to come out in droves. That helps explain why she spent part of Sunday campaigning with South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the highest-ranking black House member.

Democrats say Colbert Busch will need to win at least 90 percent of the black vote, and the party is aggressively targeting African-Americans in Charleston County.

2. The enthusiasm quotient

There’s little doubt South Carolina Democrats are fired up about this race — volunteers have been pouring into Colbert Busch’s campaign offices, eager to elect one of their own in a Republican stronghold. Her supporters dominated the audience at a debate last week.

Colbert Busch needs all the enthusiasm she can muster, given the district’s conservative tilt; Mitt Romney won it by 18 percentage points.

“The Democratic base is energized in a way I’ve never seen before,” said Jaime Harrison, the South Carolina Democratic Party chairman. “We will have very strong Democratic turnout.”

3. Republican women

About 60 percent of the electorate will be comprised by self-identified Republicans. Just like Sanford needs a slice of black voters, the same is true with Colbert Busch and Republicans: If she can win 20 percent of GOP voters, Democrats say, it’s game over.

4. The key counties

Sanford is relying on scoring big margins in two of the district’s most conservative counties, Berkeley and Dorchester. Both broke for Romney by more than 14 percentage points, and Sanford carried both in the primary and runoff elections.

Sanford allies say he’ll need to win at least 55 percent of the vote in the two counties combined, which are expected to make up about a quarter of the total vote.

Colbert Busch, meanwhile, needs to rack up a big percentage — as much as 55 percent — in Beaufort County.

The county, which is likely to make up a quarter of the electorate, has been Sanford’s Achilles’ heel. He won just 29 percent there in the splintered March primary and 47 percent in the GOP runoff — and Democrats are counting on it to be in their column on Tuesday.

5. The recount factor

As if the race hasn’t packed enough drama, now there’s the possibility of a recount.

With polls showing the two candidates neck and neck heading into the final day, both parties are girding for the possibility of a battle that extends past Tuesday. If Sanford and Colbert Busch are separated by less than 1 percentage point, a mandatory districtwide recount kicks in. - Politico, 5/7/13

We could be in store for a long night tonight.  Voter turnout is essential today.  If you would like to help out, please sign up to make phone calls for Elizabeth Colbert Busch:


Originally posted to pdc on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Virginia Kos, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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