south-carolina

Trump Is More Vulnerable Than You Think

While Trump has a high floor, he also might have a low ceiling. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Most in the national news media are talking about how Donald Trump is now the clear Republican frontrunner and will be nearly impossible to stop. They are only partially right.  

Trump, who won South Carolina (and all of its delegates) with a little under one-third of the vote, certainly is the front-runner. He has won two of the first three contests and has a clear lead in delegates. He should do well on March 1, when many Southern states hold their primaries and more than 600 delegates are at stake. By definition, that makes him the front-runner.  

Rubio Gets Coveted Haley Endorsement in South Carolina

   

On the eve of her state's GOP presidential primary, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley threw her support behind Marco Rubio.  

Handicapping the GOP Race Past Iowa

While Trump, center, and Cruz, right, have established themselves as front-runners, Rubio has broken away from other establishment candidates. (Scott Olson/Getty Images File Photo)

Have we entered a new period in American politics, when establishment candidates on the GOP side don’t win their party’s nomination? That is the question I posed in a June 4, 2015 column . It is still a relevant question.  

While I answered that it is a mistake to assume that the establishment candidate would inevitably win the GOP nomination, I doubted that combative candidates such as Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, could pass the smell test for most Republicans.  

Not Your Typical Southern Democrat in South Carolina

(John Rieger/CQ Roll Call)

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Brad Hutto, wants you to know two things: He has a path to victory against the two-term Republican, and it doesn’t require him to run from traditional Democratic positions.  

“I’m not a Blue Dog,” Hutto said proudly during a recent interview with me and my colleague Nathan Gonzales. “I’m a Democrat.”  

South Carolina Results: Lindsey Graham Wins GOP Primary (Video)

In the South Carolina primary, Graham faced a challenge. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On the same night that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary bid to an opponent who singularly focused on opposing the immigration overhaul, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. — one of the authors of that legislation — won his primary with more than 50 percent of the vote.  

Graham had 59 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race, all but ensuring his re-election to a third term.  He  also avoided a runoff,  easily clearing the 50 percent threshold. He defeated state Sen. Lee Bright, businessman Richard Cash, businesswoman Nancy Mace, pastor Det Bowers, and attorney Bill Connor. [field name=iframe]  

Republican Senate Hopefuls Vary in Quality, Approach

I recently interviewed four Republican Senate candidates in the space of one week, and if I had to draw a single assessment from those meetings it would be that there is plenty of diversity in the GOP’s class of Senate hopefuls.The four differed in stature, style and background, and they dealt with the party’s internal debate of style and strategies in a variety of ways.

Republicans must hold South Carolina and win at least one — maybe more — of the other three races to have any chance of taking back the Senate next year. And that makes these contests in South Carolina, North Carolina, Iowa and Alaska all worth watching.

Is South Carolina's Nikki Haley in Trouble?

Haley will seek re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If you listen to South Carolina Democrats, you are pretty certain that Republican Gov. Nikki R. Haley is in deep trouble next year. Not so, says Haley’s top strategist, Jon Lerner, arguing she is very likely to win re-election. Both assessments can’t be correct, can they?

“Despite bringing in 3 big-name out-of-state governors to help her build a crowd, Nikki Haley barely turned out more supporters than protesters for her big re-election announcement in deep-red Greenville County yesterday,” wrote South Carolina Democratic Party Communications Director Kristin Sosanie just after Haley announced her bid for a second term last month.

Top 5 Races to Watch in the South

This cycle, the South is dominated by competitive Senate races. That doesn’t mean there won’t be critical House races (including Florida’s 18th and 26th districts) or other interesting contests (such as the crowded Republican primary in Georgia).

Here are the top five races to watch in the South next year:

Gomez-Sanford Comparison on Obamacare Fails the Smell Test

You only need to look at the first paragraph of an “opinion” piece on Roll Call’s website to see that it wasn’t worthy of being posted on our website – or anyone’s. I'm not even going to include a link because I don't want anyone to read it. (Editor's Note: Here's the link.)

“What’s the biggest difference between the victorious 2013 House special-election campaign of Mark Sanford and the losing 2013 Senate special-election campaign of Gabriel Gomez? Simply, a willingness to take on Obamacare,” write conservatives Heather R. Higgins and Kellyanne Conway in “Gomez Failed to Make Obamacare an Issue: Will Republicans Learn or Lose?”

Sanford Unlikely to Get 2014 Primary Challenge