I hope you are finding a way to stay warm on this very chilly Monday. I’m writing today to pass along this article, which highlights the weaknesses of South Carolina’s Democratic Party.
We know our strengths – we are the party that represents the core beliefs of South Carolinians. We represent South Carolina’s working families, who understand that big spending and massive government programs are severely damaging our economy and killing jobs in our state and in every state across this nation.
Taxpayers are tired of the cronyism dominating Washington politics and their fearful about our futures. That’s why it’s so very important that the Republican Party not only talks about the principles of freedom, but we actually walk the walk and promote a government that concentrates on the people and not the special interests.
Even the Democrats know this. They know that voters can see past their celebrity message of 2008 and even moderate voters are now flocking toward conservatism. That’s why South Carolina Democrats can’t even find candidates to run for statewide constitutional office.
Please pass this email on to your friends and keep spreading our conservative message across the Palmetto State and beyond.
Have a wonderful Monday!
Out to pasture? South Carolina Democrats not yet challenging for most state offices
January 10, 2010 —
By Bill Davis, Editor, South Carolina Statehouse Report
If numbers matter, the slim slate of down-ticket statewide candidates running as Democrats is sure to have party bosses and the faithful more than worried.
Sure, there are five Democrats running for governor, just like the five Republican candidates.
But out of the next eight constitutional statewide officers – lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, comptroller general, adjutant general, superintendent of education, commissioner of agriculture – only two Democratic candidates are currently officially running.
By contrast, the state Republican Party has not only put forward candidates in each race, it could have primaries in three races, and has four candidates alone for superintendent of education – – twice the total number of down-ticket Democrats.
There was also a significant money gap in October, with Republican gubernatorial candidate Congressman Gresham Barrett (R-S.C.) having more cash on hand than all of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates combined.
The lone Democratic candidate for secretary of state, Marjorie Johnson, is a relative newcomer to the state and, as of the October financial disclosure deadline, had less than $800 of campaign funds on hand.
Missing in SC: An Obama effect
So what’s going on? Shouldn’t have President Obama’s historic election and subsequent record turnout embolden Democrats with political aspirations in South Carolina?
“Despite the Obama effect, the South Carolina Democrats remain a disorganized and dispirited minority party that appears to have accepted their status as a
permanent and fixed condition,” said Ashley Woodiwiss, a political scientist at Erskine.
Woodiwiss went on to say Democrats would need a Newt Gingrich-like figure to lead a “revolution” to break the state’s Republican domination.
After every weekend comes a Monday morning, argued Woodiwiss, who said state Democrats failed to capitalize on Obama’s success by forgetting the political fact of “organize or die.”
Phil Noble, an influential Democratic operative in the state and the leader of the S.C. New Democrats, agreed — up to a point.
“I am not going to say everything is rosy for Democrats in South Carolina,” he said. “We need to be doing more to identify, train and support more candidates.”.
Two years ago, S.C. Democratic Party chair Carol Fowler defended herself and the job her organization was doing, saying, “I can’t control who runs, who gets petitions signed, who gets on the ballot,” after longtime Republican Bob Conley jumped the fence and ran as a Democrat against U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
On Thursday, she stood behind the statement once again when asked about the candidacy of upstater Chad McGowan, a former Republican, who is running as a Democrat against U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).
So has the state’s Democratic ballot become a haven for Republicans who fear they can’t win a GOP primary?
“I don’t agree with that,” said Fowler, who hinted that several other prominent Democrats will soon throw their hats into the statewide ring.
Currently, there is only one statewide office held by a Democrat, and that’s by state Superintendent of Education Jim Rex, who is not seeking reelection to run for governor.
Statewide offices not worth it for some
One potential candidate, requesting anonymity, said Democratic politicians are only going to run for offices where they have a realistic opportunity of winning and can make a difference once elected.
Some statewide constitutional offices don’t offer enough opportunities for many Democrats to go through the struggle of raising money and defeating a Republican in such a conservative state.
S.C. GOP spokesman Joel Sawyer said that on top of delivering stances on issues popular with many South Carolinians, his party has done a better job from the “bottom up.”
“We’re a stronger party, in part, because we do a better job cultivating and empowering our grassroots activists, training them and getting them into precinct-level races,” said Sawyer, former spokesman to Gov. Mark Sanford when news of his trip to South America unfolded.
Crystal ball: With a March 31 filing deadline looming, there will be two pushes within the state’s Democratic Party. One will be for candidates to come forward and run for statewide office on the Democratic ticket. The other will be for the names of those considering a run to swell, but not actually run, which has been the pattern in recent years. Then again, if fans of restructuring state government, many of these same offices would be swallowed into the governor’s cabinet.