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Lindsey Graham is not the only Senator defending his seat in South Carolina.   Tim Scott was seated to replace Jim DeMint by Governor Nikki Haley and he will have to earn it with votes this November in a special election.  This is a very notable ballot in that regardless of the primaries and the outcome, an African American will represent South Carolina in U.S. Senate by popular vote of the people.  This could be pivotal in the relationship between the two parties and all constituencies in this deepest of deep south state.  A win with real votes could turn Scott into an influential voice in the minority community.  That voice should instead belong to a progressive Democrat and fortunately we have an extremely qualified African-American running.  Due to strange dynamics this RED state could also be a ripe pickup opportunity for Democrats that is currently completely under the radar.

Probably didn't even realize this scenario existed in the Palmetto Statewith all the Lindsey Graham talk:
 

A record seven African-American candidates are running for statewide office in 2014. Some could be eliminated in June’s primary elections, but it appears at least three black candidates will make it to November’s general election. (That would be one more than in 2002, when two black candidates – both Democrats – ran statewide and lost). South Carolina also is assured to elect its first African-American candidate in a statewide race since Reconstruction in one U.S. Senate race, where all three of the announced candidates are black.
Rick Wade is a longtime Dem operative who bas been a right arm to the Obama campaign in South Carolina in two elections.  He has run state-wide before, unsuccessfully for Sect. of State.   He knows the minority electorate far better than Scott and most importantly: if he wins the primary, his Party and its members will embrace him.  That is the dynamic that could result in a shocking upset this November.

Let's look at the state of the Republican party in S.Carolina.  Tea Partiers universally loath Lindsey.  Hating on Graham is practically a cottage industry in the RW Wack-a-doodle-sphere.  He is, like Mitch McConnell, almost a lock to win the primary.  With practically a pass to reelection he will no doubt inspire a lot of good ole boys to head straight to happy hour on election day.  One TPer who isn't lining up behind Graham is...  Tim Scott:

On Wednesday, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott was asked on CNN's Crossfire if he would endorse his colleague Lindsey Graham, who faces a primary challenge next year. Scott declined several opportunities to voice support for his state's senior Senator, saying he was focused on his own reelection. Endorsing one's colleague is almost rote in politics. Scott's demurral is a sign of the difficulty Graham faces next year.
* Thanks Breitbart but I can't link to you :(
 
In state politics you line up with the MAN or you stand outside.   Scott has chosen to stand outside with the GOTP amongst it's misspelled signs.  Yes, there are a lot of them but there are just as many party insiders who would think that was 3rd party talk.   I think we can also mention that there are a lot of SC Reds who wouldn't vote for a black man if their lives depended on it.   Just saying'.

Will there be white Dems who will feel the same way about voting for an AA candidate? Sure, but the past decade has done a pretty good job of sorting the camps on that issue.  Meanwhile who would you expect to get the vast majority of minority votes... you know, the ones who WILL turn out in large numbers for a minority candidate.  I see in my crystal ball a lot of habitual Red voters showing up, voting for Lindsey and the local judge and leaving the second Senate race vote blank.  I also see a lot of independent minds voting Graham as a "moderate" and then voting Dem to balance the ticket.  I do not however, see many Dems turning up to vote for  the Dem candidate then throwing in with the Republican Scott.   Red turnout will be depressed while the Blues will be inspired.  Think about it.

Rick Wade is an outstanding man with a lifetime of service who believes the Government can make a difference for good.  Tim Scott is a lifetime coolaid drinker and professional Tea Partier who has railed on all public assistance including the gutting of public schools, perhaps the most important issue for the progress of the 99%.   Wade is also well connected.  He can get POTUS to Columbia in October, he can get Bill Clinton into churches in September.  What he really needs is money.  BIG MONEY.  

Go to Wades Facebook and learn about him.  This may be the first time you have heard his name but I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't the WOW candidate this november.  We need pickup opps and this is just as makable a putt as Kentucky or Georgia, maybe more so.

4:25 PM PT: Just to clarify the Special Sauce that makes this a VERY gettable seat (Me from the comments)
I agree that a Heath Schuler would... be the classical weapon of choice and the state party may have tried to recruit a pure Blue Dog but here's why this may be victory with honor: while a white "Dim-O-Crat" might pull in some bigoted Reds and most Dems, a black candidate will still get the party faithful PLUS a lot of minority and liberal voters who normally would be sitting out a midterm.   The bigoted Reds still won't vote for Scott.  Turnout is the key.  That's my calculus and I'm standing by it.

by Reinvented Daddy

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Comment Preferences

  •  Any polling yet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Reinvented Daddy

    n/m

    •  None yet, probably none until... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skyye, Linda1961

      ... after the primary.   Frankly the beauty of this race is that virtually no one is watching it.  Horserace articles never mention it.  Heck, I don't think most pundits realize it's a race at all.   Scott is a Republican Senator but he has never faced a Republican electorate.  

      I have learned it is impossible to underestimate the GOP voter.  I have also seen what an electrified minority voting block can accomplish.  Obama was a novelty in 2007 and a nominee in 2008.  Expect this race to get ink in September.

  •  Sorry, don't see it... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG

    All the ratings sites have both seats as "Safe Republican".  If anything, Graham is the bigger risk, given his Primary opposition.  Too many closer races (including pickup chances in George and Kentucky) to think about expending money here.

  •  lot of SC Reds who wouldn't vote for a black man (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    awcomeon, Reinvented Daddy, Linda1961

    I agree w/ this.  

    Are Tea Partiers part of the SC Reds?

    Herman Cain was the Tea Partiers favorite in my neck of the woods.
    (I wish the TeaFreaks would just start their own party!!)

    Faux News ruined my state

    by sc kitty on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 12:47:10 PM PST

    •  Too Bad Herman... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Linda1961

      .... never faced a primary vote.  He cleaned up in TP straw polls but I don't know if his act would have worked with real voters.   Just like I don't think Scott will find a lot of love when the poll curtains close.  Curious to see if he underperforms Graham.

  •  Nice try, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lzmd

    but color me skeptical.

    "These are not candidates. These are the empty stand-ins for lobbyists' policies to be legislated later." - Chimpy, 9/24/10

    by NWTerriD on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 01:13:27 PM PST

  •  In SC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1, Reinvented Daddy, Linda1961

    Might as well go for it and never, lose hope!

    All things are possible in this climate. People of both parties are really hurting hard at the hands of their elected GOPTEA godlings..

    Just Vote and help others get registered or to the polls and see how it turns out.

    Well, other than non audit-able machines that is.

    I think the popular vote was interestingly close last year when I took a look but I'd have to verify that.

    When people are denied healthcare, unemployement, and Lost SS# to hacks, it could change the tide?

    I try never to lose hope for any that will go for it and campaign and fight.

    Thanks for the diary, will hotlist too, for refernce

    •  Romney only won by... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skyye

      ... 10.5% against the dread black usurper from the north.   SC is a lot more Georgia than Tennessee.  Now, take that same electorate and make Mitt Romney Herman Cain and that's what we have to work with.   Thus my optimism.

      •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

        how long the percentage has been that close between Dem voters and GOTP voters? Where we might find this info.

        I suspect it may be longer than we might think. I suspect the voter machines are rigged to provide proper state gov totals, this is a personal opinion, granted but it doesn't really smeel right, in SC.

        But, SC got the small gov tea GOP and all that has happened is BIG GOV rules and suppression and obstruction at the peoples peril, peoples harm.

        That swings both ways through both Republican and Democrat voters. SC has a lot of poor folks too, so a lot are hurting more than before and alot realize other states people are being given some relief from their states.

        Never give up hope

  •  Sorry, but.. (0+ / 0-)

    in a state like SC, if you want to win as a Democrat statewide, you run a white guy. Especially if the opponent is a black guy. The aim is to win the votes of people who are skeptical of black people in general, as is relatively common in SC, not by dog whistling, but simply being the "white guy" to the other guy's "black guy". It's an unfortunate artifact of racism where we try to take advantage of racial tendencies, but there's literally no other way to win in SC.

    A debate can certainly be had on whether it's the right thing to do to utilize those racist tendencies just for an election win. I'm not sure where I'd come down on it. I'm usually quite pragmatic and willing to endure a lot just for an extra Senate seat, but... well... yeah. I think the only way I'd be able to endure such a candidacy is if the candidate explicitly did not use dogwhistling or other subtle appeals to racism, and had no actual racism in his past.

    TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D)

    by Le Champignon on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 04:07:48 PM PST

    •  I agree that a Heath Schuler would... (0+ / 0-)

      ... be the classical weapon of choice and the state party may have tried to recruit a pure Blue Dog but here's why this may be victory with honor: while a white "Dim-O-Crat" might pull in some bigoted Reds and most Dems, a black candidate will still get the party faithful PLUS a lot of minority and liberal voters who normally would be sitting out a midterm.   The bigoted Reds still won't vote for Scott.  Turnout is the key.  That's my calculus and I'm standing by it.

  •  Appalachia (0+ / 0-)

    Remember the series on Appalachian voting patterns that someone here did a few months ago.  (Was it Stephen Wolf?)  SC is a swing state without the 9 or so Appalachian counties in the NW corner of the state, according to his analysis.  Certainly the coast is more moderate and the middle has a higher % of minority voters.

    Depress voting in Appalachia, and maybe there is a chance.  If Graham wins the primary and the TP folks are more abundant in NW SC, then maybe they don't turn out because they aren't enthralled with their options.

    But remember, there is a governor's race too.  If the TP really didn't like Nikki Haley, that would help too, but that doesn't seem to be the case, as far as I can tell.

  •  I always appreciate (0+ / 0-)

    Discussion of possible scenarios which seemingly go against the conventional wisdom.  Change occurs when the CW is breached - look at the Congressional classes of 1974 and 1994 for examples.  Many remember Gaylord Nelson, a beloved Wisconsin Senator known for his environmental work, but who remembers the one-termer who picked him off in the 1980 Reagan landslide?  (His name was Robert Kasten.)  The point is, the coventional wisdom works except when it doesn't.  

    Voting is a complex proposition, but it is definitely one with which persons on the low end of the economic scale have a difficult relationship with.  The attitude "voting does not change anything," and "If voting changed anything, they wouldn't allow it" often serves as CW among working poor.  Among people of color it is more complex.  Many African-Americans are not enamored of other African-Americans who are politicians, lawyers, preachers and the like and regard them as hustlers, often correctly.  The classic Norman Lear TV sitcom "Good Times" which chronicled a black family in Chicago once portrayed their (black) City Councilman as such.  Then there's the disconnect in which people are unsure where to go:   I once was a pollworker when our polling place was the state highway department district office, but we had several who showed up to vote after first thinking they needed to go to the Driver's License office (which in Texas is under the Department of Public Safety, AKA the State Troopers) and still others had tried to go to the County Clerk's office substation where people go to get license plates.  Both mistakes make perfect sense as all three agencies deal with one's vehicles.  Now think how much harder such judgments are to make for people who lack literacy and have never had a checking account and so forth.  Another thing, sometimes being called for jury duty is associated with registering to vote.  To people with minimum wage gigs or not much better being off duty while being processed through the courthouse means a significant loss of income.  Still others are reluctant to register to vote because their marginal status in society is marked by moving frequently, trouble with law enforcement, illiteracy, and a general distrust of others among other things.  That is why voter intimidation works so well for the right-wing forces which try to reduce turnout and why voter fraud allegations are so stupid.  We have too hard enough a time getting our people to the polls for real.  Voting means being a "citizen," a term marginal folks use derisively.  

    Is the diarist right about Scott's seat being a possilbe Dem Pickup?  Conventional wisdom says no, but let's read such things with an open mind.  

    I'm a sexagenarian geek-nerd-artboy so while it's counterintuitive to have me use a sports analogy and understand it, bear with me here:  The conventional wisdom in pro football is "on any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team."  Theoretically in politics with free elections and an absence of corruption, it should be so for candidates as well.  When Ann Richards ran for office in Texas she began as a county commissioner and once her token opponent was a longtime Republican activist with the unlikely name of Millard K. Neptune.  Neptune had run for various offices as a "some dude" back when Texas was a one party Democratic state.  The media was gaga over Richards after she won her primary but she was always gracious toward Neptune.  She had known him a number of years.  As far as I know the only election he ever won was for Travis County Republican Chairman.  Who knows what he would have been like if he served in a real office?  I suspect he would have been a damn sight better than Ted Cruz.  

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 07:12:09 AM PST

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