COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Democrat Vincent Sheheen is tagged as liberal. Republican Nikki Haley is accused of being untrustworthy.
The barbs thrown by the two main gubernatorial candidates trying to replace Gov. Mark Sanford could not be sharper.
But it's unclear is how much of an effect the claims will have. Political experts and voters say that several factors are at play.
Some of Haley's attack have backfired. But she has a compelling biography and a ready defense for criticism. She says she's trying to change an Old Boy network and voters echo that claim.
Sheheen is being helped by questions raised about Haley's late tax payments. A recent poll puts him nine percentage points behind the Republican.
Still, experts say average voters will likely stick to voting for their favored party.