Gubernatorial candidates seek last minute votes for primary

By Jillian Capobianco - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - In less than 24 hours, South Carolina voters will decide the Republican and Democratic nominees for a whole slew of statewide races.

In the governor's race, the four Republicans looking to succeed term-limited Gov. Mark Sanford spent their day in the Upstate while the three Democrats spread themselves across the state looking for those last minute votes that can swing a campaign.

Political Science Professor Dr. Mark Tompkins says most voters already have their minds made up, but he says the last minute campaign stops are not all for nothing.

"That's almost the most important part of the last couple of days is you probably already know who your supporters are, but motivating them to come out on a hot summer day in spite of the heat," said Tompkins.

So which way will the voters vote on Tuesday? The latest poll for Democrats predicts state Sen. Vincent Sheheen will take the most votes, followed by State Superintendent Jim Rex, and state Sen. Robert Ford.

Dr. Tompkins believes the race will come down to the two leading men.

"Superintendent Rex really needs to motivate voters to come out," said Tompkins. "He's handicapped by the lack of money. Senator Sheheen has established himself as the front runner in the Democratic primary, so he just needs to get his people out."

The poll in the GOP race shows state Rep. Nikki Haley will get most of the votes, followed by Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, then Congressman Gresham Barrett.  But that's not how Dr. Tompkins sees Tuesday playing out. He predicts a runoff between Haley and Attorney General Henry McMaster.

"My intuition is because the attorney general represents a distinct wing of the party, he stands the best chance in competing with the very conservative tea party part of the party," said Tompkins.

Tompkins also said to not count out Bauer just yet because he has done better than expected in previous elections.

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