South Carolina Governor (2006)
U.S. President: South Carolina (2008)
Sep 27, 2010
New Rothenberg Political Report Rating
Safe-R (was Lean-R)
Sep 2, 2010
Despite Sanford's Woes, Haley Likely To Keep Seat In GOP Hands
Incumbent Mark Sanford (R), first elected in 2002, is term limited. It has not been the greatest of times for South Carolina Republicans, who watched in horror as their governor went from potential presidential candidate to pariah after one journey down the Appalachian Trail.
But the state is heavily Republican, and the stench of Sanford's extramarital goings-on has not, for the most part, affected the GOP candidate to succeed him, state Rep. Nikki Haley. Haley, a Sanford ally in the state Legislature, defeated an impressive list of candidates to win her party's nomination, such as the state lieutenant governor, the attorney general and a sitting member of Congress.
It's quite possible that no one would have ever heard of Haley had she not been endorsed first by Jenny Sanford, the state's betrayed first lady, and then by Sarah Palin. But they certainly heard of her after a conservative blogger said that he and the married Haley had an inappropriate physical relationship awhile back. Nonetheless, Haley is the nominee and the party is strongly behind her. The Democratic nominee, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, is hoping that the fallout from the Sanford scandal will bring Haley down with it, but don't bet on it. -Ken Rudin
New NPR Rating