And before we take the jump, I just wanted to remind you again that you can contribute to candidates on this project by hitting this ActBlue page
And, because I get grief about not pimping my other series, here are the stories in The Basics Series...
New Republican Sales Pitch
DLC Democrats Sales Pitch
City on a Hill
The Napoleonic Strategies of the GOP
The Danger Called Howard Dean
SC-1 The coast area of the State including Myrtle Beach. The red incumbent, Henry Brown, won this district with 88% of the vote. Our guy is Randy Maatta (FINNISH (all caps), in case you were curious), a local businessman, with an emphasis on real estate. You'd figure this to be a no-brainer. A popular incumbent with 88% of the vote and all the money that goes along, against a newcomer with 35k COH. I figure, move along, nothing to see here. Except John Kerry. Why is Kerry stumping for this guy? Somebody's seeing something that I'm not.
SC-1: I can't imagine this going blue... BUT...
SC-2 Central and South areas of the state including part of Columbia. The red incumbent, Joe Wilson, won this district with 65% of the vote. Our guy is a local attorney named Michael Ellisor, who ran as a no-name-nobody last time and garnered 35% of the vote. Since then, he's been working the distict, meeting people and getting his message out there. I like his tag line "don't send a politician to Washington to do a citizen's job". He's about as liberal as we're going to get in this district. This is going to be closer than last time, probably much closer. But I can't see him making up 30 points.
SC-2: Red. This time.
SC-3 The Western portion of the state including Anderson and Aiken. The red incumbent, J Gresham Barrett, ran unopposed last time, but W got 65%. Our guy is Lee Ballenger, a combat veteran who spent six years in the Navy and won the Nave Expeditionary Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. For the last 12 years, Lee has been a teacher in the public school system. This is another race where something weird is going on. Given the huge funding disparity and the fact that the challenger has next to no name recognition, the incumbent could just ignore the challenge and "rise above it". But he's not doing it. The debates aren't challenger versus empty chair, they're actually happening. I don't know. This is a weird year. Still...
SC-3: Safe Red.
SC-4 The Northwestern portion of the state including Greenville and Spartanburg. The red incumbent, Bob Inglis, won this district last time with 70% of the vote. Our guy, William Griffith, is an engineer who has spent 31 years in research, and 13 years in the Army Reserves, achieving the rank of Captain. He decided to run after a discussion with Senator Hollings. We are left to our imaginations as to whether the Senator asked him to run, or whether he was just inspired. But, as he points out, there are only 10 scientists and engineers in Congress, and it would be nice to have another geek there. Again, there are live debates happening I didn't expect to see. But maybe the reddie feels safe (I would), so why not be magnanimous?
SC-4: Safe Red.
SC-5 The North Central portion of the state including Rock Hill. Our incumbent, John Spratt, won this district with 63% of the vote, although W carried the day with 57%. And for once, the reddies are going after a seat that I'd expect them to. They're running a guy named Ralph Norman, a real estate guy with tons of involvement in local businesses and charities. The guy's got deep pockets and has been able to raise over a million dollars. This race is shaping to be one of the most expensive races South Carolina has ever seen. That's fine. Let 'em sped their money. Spratt's up by 14. And. BTW. There's an article that I like that talks about how the language has changed in this race and it's emblematic of what's happening around the country. Where the reddie used to invoke Kennedy and Pelosi, now he's trying to localize the race. Our guy said that the reddies pollsters say it's time for change, and that means not putting another rubberstamp in place but actually applying checks and balances. You want change? How about a Democrat standing up and being a Democrat? Cha-ching! If you've got a minute, read this article. You'll feel better about the world.
SC-5: Ours! Nannynannybooboo!
SC-6 The Central portion of the state including the rest of Columbia and Charleston. Our incumbent, James Clyburn won this district with 67% of the vote, or 6 better than Kerry. The reddie opponent is Gary McLeod, crazy crazy wingnut. This guy has been running against Clyburn since 1998, and, thankfully, never gets more than 1/3 of the votes. But check that link. Crazy, crazy, wingnut.
SC-6: Blue. Thank God.