Ralph Norman Ekes Out Special Election Win

While this district is considered to be a relatively safe Republican district, but hey, a win's a win.

The months following Trump's ascendancy to the presidency has changed the political landscape, said political science professor Rick Whisonant of York Technical College.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Republicans held onto Mick Mulvaney's SC congressional seat in Tuesday's special election, but the 3-point margin was hardly what they may have been presuming, given Mulvaney's 20-point victory in November.

Democrats had held the sc seat for more than a century until Mulvaney rode a tea party wave to defeat longtime incumbent John Spratt in 2010. Trump recorded a robocall in support of Norman's campaign and sent out Twitter messages encouraging voters to back him.

"Everybody's had their differences with President Trump", Norman told The Associated Press on Tuesday night. "People want conservatives. They want the government to work for them".

"I think it is the media hyping it up".

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The actual candidates, who aren't fictional presidents from "House of Cards", are democrat Archie Parnell, a former Goldman Sachs employee, and republican Ralph Norman, a former state representative.

Three third-party candidates also ran.

Surrogate help was likely a boost for Norman, who stumped with Texas Sen.

"I felt good about it all along", said Connelly, a former South Carolina Republican Party chairman. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who has close ties to House leadership, threw his support behind Norman's primary opponent, establishment Republican Tommy Pope.

Those facts will raise questions about why national Democrats didn't invest more in the SC race, but they'll also add fuel the left's hopes for an anti-Trump backlash in the midterms.

Meanwhile, Whisonant said Parnell's campaign employed a strong ground game, connecting with voters by knocking on doors even in the waning hours of the special election. That's compared with a $5 million investment in the special election in Georgia's 6th District. The margin of victory, though, was a surprise, Roll Call said. The district cover the north central portion of the state - from the Charlotte suburbs to the Midlands, including part or all of Fairfield, Kershaw, Newberry and Sumter counties. At 18 percent, Tuesday night's turnout in SC was more than it had been for party primaries earlier this year but still struggled to earn voter attention.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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