It was noted here earlier that “Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol said on Fox News Tuesday night that he has spoken to influential party officials in Washington who say they expect South Carolina Congressman Gresham Barrett, who appears to have earned a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor against State Representative Nikki Haley, will drop out of the race on Wednesday.”
Kristol’s point, and, presumably that of his Republican sources, is that the Haley vote total (205,000+: 49%) in the primary was more than double that of Barrett (91,000+: 22%). Further, Haley carried 42 of 46 counties – the remaining four going to Barrett, all of them in his current congressional district. Neither Attorney General Henry McMaster nor Lt. Governor Andre Bauer carried any counties. That means neither of them can help Barrett in a runoff. His only hope would be that more than half of Haley’s voters would stay home and all of his, plus some would stay with him. Not gonna happen. [Yeah, I know that it is possible mathematically, but not politically or realistically.]
The fact that none of her three rivals really put up much oppostion (outside the dirty politics) shows that a runoff would be a waste of time and damaging to the party. Haley’s near domination in a four-person race – you can almost call it a landslide – is a clear message of what the voters of South Carolina want. As is being alluded to by television pundits, the best thing for the party in the state is for Barrett to drop out of a race he cannot win and give Haley the time and clearance to run straight for the November general election against Democratic nominee State Senator Vincent Sheheen.
Rep. Haley collected more votes in a four-person race than all three Democrat candidates combined. That’s no surprise in what is likely the reddest of the red states, and as formidable as Sheheen may be he is (1) a Democrat and (2) no other reason is needed. By bowing out, Barrett can do a lot to flush South Carolina of the toxic politics seen in this election cycle.
But that’s for him, party officials and the Republican rank and file to work out.