PPP: South Carolina a dead heat

posted at 10:41 am on May 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Can Mark Sanford succeed in his improbable comeback? According to the final poll of South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District ahead of the special election tomorrow, he’s going to make it close.  PPP puts Sanford ahead for the first time by the thinnest of margins, and reports that momentum has shifted his way in the heavily Republican district:

PPP’s final poll of the special election in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District finds a race that’s too close to call, with Republican Mark Sanford leading Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch 47-46. The 1 point lead for Sanford represents a 10 point reversal from PPP’s poll of the race two weeks ago, when Colbert Busch led by 9 points at 50-41.

Sanford has gotten back into the race by nationalizing it and painting Colbert Busch as a liberal. A plurality of voters in the district- 47%- say they think Colbert Busch is a liberal compared to 43% who characterize her as ideologically ‘about right.’ Colbert Busch’s favorability rating has dropped a net 19 points compared to 2 weeks ago, from +25 then at 56/31 to +6 now at 50/44.

Sanford has spent most of his time running against Nancy Pelosi, and PPP says that strategy worked.  By tying Colbert Busch to Pelosi, he’s undermined her claim to be a centrist, although the Democrat has managed to do some of that work herself.  Despite running against ObamaCare, she demurred when it came to actually doing something about it:

The Sanford campaign has consistently argued that Colbert Busch will be a reliable vote for Nancy Pelosi, and after Sunday’s conference, a few national reporters peppered her with questions about potential disagreements she could have with House Democratic leadership.

“You heard congressman Clyburn himself say, sometimes you agree and sometimes you don’t, but let’s get to May 7th and let’s get elected, and then we’ll sit down and we’ll all talk to each other, we’ll collaborate with each other, we’ll work with each other,” she told the group.

When BuzzFeed’s Kate Nocera asked her how she would vote on an impending House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Colbert Busch described the president’s signature piece of  legislation as “so problematic.”

“Will you vote to repeal it?” asked Yahoo!’s Chris Moody

“I have to see the bill,” she responded, adding that she didn’t want to comment on hypothetical legislation.

“It will say, ‘Repealed,’” responded Moody.

“Let’s see it,” she responded. “Let’s get elected on May 7th, and then we’ll go from there. And then when they bring it to the desk, we’ll go from there.”

If the Sanford campaign is on its toes, it will have that as a radio and/or TV spot sometime today.  This should have Democrats worried about the impact that Pelosi will have on other swing districts, too.  They embraced her instead of jettisoning her after the 2010 midterm debacle.  Another may be coming.

That may also be in part why Republicans have decided to return to the voting booth over the last few weeks:

The other key development in this race over the last two weeks is that Republicans are returning to the electorate. On our last poll, conducted right after the trespassing charges against Sanford became public, we found that the likely electorate had voted for Mitt Romney by only 5 points in a district that he actually won by 18. That suggested many Republican voters were depressed and planning to stay home. On our final poll we find an electorate that’s Romney +13- that’s still more Democratic than the turnout from last fall, but it’s a lot better for Sanford than it was a couple weeks ago.

It may be even more than that.  After Sanford’s affair and trespassing charge, one might have expected women to flee from his banner.  He’s not winning among women, but he’s only trailing among women by eight points, 43/51 — a very surprising result against a female candidate. Sanford leads among men by 11 points, 51/40, but the key here is women.  Democrats had to expect better than a +8 by running Colbert Busch in the district, but she’s only a +10 in favorability with women at 52/42.  Sanford’s at a -16 at 40/56, but it’s not damaging him nearly as much as anyone would have predicted.

Now it’s all about turnout and GOTV efforts.  Sanford is an old hand at those tasks, but we’ll see whether he can outdo the Democrats in this very Republican district in a high-profile special election. Figure on a late night tomorrow before we know anything.


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Sanford should tell Busch to go back to wherever the hell she came from.

Happy Nomad on May 6, 2013 at 10:46 AM

“You heard congressman Clyburn himself say, sometimes you agree and sometimes you don’t, but let’s get to May 7th and let’s get elected, and then we’ll sit down and we’ll all talk to each other, we’ll collaborate with each other, we’ll work with each other,” she told the group.

Good God, could this woman be any more obvious that she’s lying her ass off in order to get elected? Any right-leaning voter who pulls the lever for Sister of Colbert and then acts surprised when she becomes a lapdog for Pelosi once in office deserves to have the crap kicked out of them.

Doughboy on May 6, 2013 at 10:46 AM

“I have to see the bill,” she responded,

She was asked about repealing ObamaCare, not passing new stuff. But then, I doubt she’s read ObamaCare either.

Fenris on May 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM

What a choice! If I lived in S.C., I would vote for Sanford. Every two years you get a chance to find a better Republican.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Lesser of two evils, I suppose.

Let’s not forget, he was a pretty reliable budget hawk. We don’t need more Al Frankens.

BuckeyeSam on May 6, 2013 at 10:52 AM

She was asked about repealing ObamaCare, not passing new stuff. But then, I doubt she’s read ObamaCare either.

Fenris on May 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM

And she doesn’t want to talk about anything but winning on May 7th. You’d think a woman who wants to become a member of Congress would be able to speak intelligently about something so invasive as Obamacare. Just calling it problematic doesn’t answer the mail.

Happy Nomad on May 6, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Fenris on May 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM

I thought that also, but I think she is talking about repeal legislation. Of course as far as I’m concern Obamacare, with all the fill in the blank stuff, was hypothetical.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

You gotta pass bills to see what’s in it, and you have to wait till she’s elected to see if she’ll vote for any of them. Just mind-boggling. She’d be a reliable vote for Obama and company, and shame on any Republican in that distrcit who’s folled into thinking otherwise. I know Sanford’s no prize, but really.

changer1701 on May 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Been burned too many times with polls last time….. President Romney anyone?

sandee on May 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM

If I were charged with First Degree Murder and Mark Sanford a criminal defense lawyer with a 100% acquittal rate, I might not like him but I’d definitely hire him.

Just saying…

Drained Brain on May 6, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Yeah but the Republican establishment finds Sanford so horrible that they pulled their support from him! I guess they like Pelosi and her minions.

Purity!

Vince on May 6, 2013 at 10:59 AM

“Let’s see it,” she responded. “Let’s get elected on May 7th, and then we’ll go from there. And then when they bring it to the desk, we’ll go from there.”

I wasn’t rooting for Sanford, but I sure as hell am now. This woman can’t win.

Marcus on May 6, 2013 at 10:59 AM

…with all the fill in the blank stuff…

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Seems like that’s how all legislation is these days, and likely there will be no legislation that just says “Repealed”. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t call them out on their dereliction of duty.

Fenris on May 6, 2013 at 11:00 AM

PPP’s final poll of the special election in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District finds a race that’s too close to call, with Republican Mark Sanford leading Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch 47-46. The 1 point lead for Sanford represents a 10 point reversal from PPP’s poll of the race two weeks ago, when Colbert Busch led by 9 points at 50-41.

I don’t buy that big of a swing in 2 weeks. I think PPP either cooked the earlier poll, cooked the recent one, or both.

I think they are just attempting to tighten the race so they can make sure the D’s are inspired to GOTV.

weaselyone on May 6, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Here’s the problem.

In recent years, the DCCC has proven pretty good (better than the NRCC, anyway) at winning special Congressional elections. Sanford’s operating alone without any help from the nationals in terms of getting the GOP base vote to turnout. If African-American turnout is higher than expected tomorrow (which is the core of the DCCC’s strategy here) Colbert-Busch probably takes this race.

Robert_Paulson on May 6, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Nothing a truckload a “lost votes” from the military and conservative distiricts can’t solve.

Add in some felons, illegal aliens, dead and multiple voters and it’s a “referendum” on the liberalizing of SC.

acyl72 on May 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM

People of SC, please vote for Sanford and then in two years run someone who isnt a dirt bag and vote that person in.

Jack_Burton on May 6, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Elizabeth Colbert Busch is no sweetheart. She was involved in a messy divorce, one that landed her in jail on contempt of court charges in 1988. You can see her mugshot and more in this link.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/05/must-see-elizabeth-colbert-busch-arrested-mug-shot-video/

Commonsense13 on May 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

What in heaven’s name is wrong with you people in SC? I am in Augusta, just across the river, and you are scaring me!

ultracon on May 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Been burned too many times with polls last time….. President Romney anyone?

sandee on May 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Use your brain. All polls are not the same. Still, polls are based on empirical data. If you can’t parse/interpret data sets and outcomes I recommend more schooling.

Capitalist Hog on May 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

What a choice! If I lived in S.C., I would vote for Sanford. Every two years you get a chance to find a better Republican.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM

yeah, in this day and age, I can’t imagine not supporting Sanford just to send a message to the gop elite. We need that seat and he’s no worse than a lot of them up there with their personal lives.

The gop eats their own.

hawkdriver on May 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM

Capitalist Hog on May 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Do you walk this Earth with a perpetual stick up your ass? Take a break, you don’t have to be a prick every day of your life.

hawkdriver on May 6, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Capitalist Hog on May 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Do you walk this Earth with a perpetual stick up your ass? Take a break, you don’t have to be a pr!ck every day of your life.

hawkdriver on May 6, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Elizabeth Colbert Busch is no sweetheart. She was involved in a messy divorce, one that landed her in jail on contempt of court charges in 1988. You can see her mugshot and more in this link.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2013/05/must-see-elizabeth-colbert-busch-arrested-mug-shot-video/

Commonsense13 on May 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Woo. Raising her voice in court because her ex-husband was trying to get custody of the kids.

stingray9813 on May 6, 2013 at 11:40 AM

I don’t buy that big of a swing in 2 weeks. I think PPP either cooked the earlier poll, cooked the recent one, or both.

I think they are just attempting to tighten the race so they can make sure the D’s are inspired to GOTV.

weaselyone on May 6, 2013 at 11:07 AM

PPP means Piss-Poor Polling. They can be accurate when they want to, but they often use push-polling and fake polls to advance their political positions, and you have no way of knowing which is which.

slickwillie2001 on May 6, 2013 at 11:42 AM

As much as the RNC (and many here) may crave an abortion supporting, global warming zealot to beat Sanford on ‘principal’, they lose again. Sanford wins in a walk and will owe them nothing. The RNC, meanwhile will have no such qualms about supporting countless DC lifers who are habitual adulterers, but DON’T marry their girlfriends. Sanford left his wife to marry a woman he fell in love with. That’s a Disney movie compared to what goes on every day in the DC cesspool most congressmen swim in.

AmeriCuda on May 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Everyone who thinks she’d be a place-holder for two years then get tossed needs to remember Claire McCaskill. You can’t let a snake in the house and guarantee you can sweep it out later no problem.

Marcus on May 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Commonsense13 on May 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Something Gov. Sanford would probably never dream of bringing up.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Sanford should tell Busch to go back to wherever the hell she came from.

Happy Nomad on May 6, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Going back to being his worst nightmare is not a valid option.

Myron Falwell on May 6, 2013 at 11:49 AM

“Can Sanford succeed in his improbable comeback?” is a question that has little or nothing to do with this race. Of course he will win election, as he should in this R+lots district.

But he will never get elected anywhere else though, and hopefully this race has made that fact clear; so his “improbable comeback” is an epithet that will never be written.

The real question is not about some dream of a comeback, it’s will he spend election night with his supporters or will he be out walking the Appalachian trail?

MTF on May 6, 2013 at 11:50 AM

hawkdriver on May 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM

LOL! Sometimes they need to eat their own. I would just suggest that they chew more slowly and consider carefully whether swallowing a less than tasty but harmless offering or embracing two years unfortunate side effects. I was under the impression that this was a conservative district and they nominated him, it doesn’t seem like it should even be a contest but here we are.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Happy Nomad on May 6, 2013 at 10:46 AM

You know that only liberals can get away with that crap. I’m sure the Dems think that Gov. Haley’s Indian heritage is far scarier than Ms. Busch’s Canadian roots. Democrats seem to imply that their own constituency is less that cosmopolitan. You would think that they would get tired of being insulted.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Sod off Captain Danvers.

There are scenarios wherein I edit, abridge or soften my words out of concern for my audience. As a mentor and frequent guest at the homes of friends, family and employees I am around kids a lot. When kids are in the room their presence is a priority. Aside from that….get bent.

I am very plainly spoken. I don’t insult without acknowledging that I am doing so. I don’t mask my flaws to make my point. True, I go hard…most of the time. Why should I express my thoughts about others with any less scrutiny than I apply to myself?

Thank you for your service. Now, why don’t you do what you’re always making a grand production to others about doing? Ignore me.

Capitalist Hog on May 6, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Capitalist Hog on May 6, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Wow, you are so cool.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 12:10 PM

As one who lives in this district and didn’t vote for Sanford in the primary or the runoff, I will be pulling the lever for him tomorrow. My wife is ready to vote for him as well. It isn’t that we have come around to being pro Sanford so much as being sick of the negative campaign ads being purchased by the Dem/ liberal money pouring into the state. You can’t find a single reason to vote FOR Colbert-Busch…. only reasons NOT to vote for Sanford. We’re frackin’ sick of it!

Storybec on May 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

I, thankfully, have no dog in that hunt; being in Colorado. Both candidates make a football bat look perfectly functional. And both are detestable. Still and all, a Sanford win, against all odds and with the RNC pulling out AND celebrity support for the Democrat; would have to cause more than a little concern on the Left. If they cannot pull that one out, or have to resort to the normal Democrat vote fraud tactics in a race they should walk away with; means that they are going to have to crank the fraud up to 11 or 12 as a starting point for any putative midterm elections.

Subotai Bahadur on May 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Storybec on May 6, 2013 at 12:33 PM

If Dems put a lot of money in your area and still lose, I think that’s my definition of a successful stimulus program. I’m praying for y’all.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Show polls with Democrats up big amounts right up until a week before the election and then report accurate numbers right before the election to protect their professional reputation – Typical PPP manuever.

[That said I'm hoping for a Colbert-Busch win in this meaningless election just to dump all of Sanford's baggage that will just feed the "war on women" meme. Irrelevant stuff like that gets nationalized if Sanford sticks around.]

blammm on May 6, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Another black eye for the republican party.

rubberneck on May 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM

“You heard congressman Clyburn himself say, sometimes you agree and sometimes you don’t, but let’s get to May 7th and let’s get elected, and then we’ll sit down and we’ll all talk to each other, we’ll collaborate with each other, we’ll work with each other,” she told the group.

Why does that sound so much like “We need to pass it to see what’s in it?”

This shouldn’t even be close, much less this close. I guess there was no one else who could have gone for the position? That’s sadder than anything else involving this election.

DrAllecon on May 6, 2013 at 12:47 PM

rubberneck on May 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Black eyes are temporary.

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM

I don’t buy that big of a swing in 2 weeks. I think PPP either cooked the earlier poll, cooked the recent one, or both.

I think they are just attempting to tighten the race so they can make sure the D’s are inspired to GOTV.

weaselyone on May 6, 2013 at 11:07 AM

After PPP was proven to be one of the most accurate pollsters in 2012 you are still going for this “the polls are lying” conspiracy crap. The only tomfoolery was the “unskewed” polling sites.

libfreeordie on May 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I set the “over/under” for the GOP nominee at 53% BEFORE the primaries and nothing has changed, despite the unions and national Democrats spending over $1 million in attack ads. SC-CD-1 isn’t going to send a union stooge to DC, no matter how much lipstick you put on the pig.

SC incumbents don’t get “primaried” out of office, so all you meddling outsiders shouldn’t get your hopes up. OTOH, in your pathetic ignorance and self-righteous posturing, you may not know about Mark Sanford:

1. Won congressional primary in 1994 vs several establishment Republicans including state party chairman
2. Pledged not to accept PAC $$ and didn’t
3. Pledged to serve no more than three terms and did it
4. Slept on office couch first year in office to save money
5. Shared apartment with other Republican congressmen, never bought house in DC
6. Came home to SC every weekend at own expense
7. Was only Member of Congress who returned office expense money to Treasury every year from 1995-2001 – including Ron Paul
8. Retired, but was talked into running for Governor by grassroots Republicans
9. Won primary vs former Governor, sitting AG & Secretary of State
10. Was mentor and encouraged reformers Haley and Scott to seek higher office
11. Brought pigs to legislature to protest pork

WHO in the GOP has a better record of proposed reform and spending cuts than Sanford? Other than nuts like Paul, no one.

But we thank you interlopers for your interference, we will persevere despite no help countering the unions and Pelosi PACs from outside. We invite you to visit, spend lots of money, and then go home.

We don’t care how you do it up north, mmmkay?

Adjoran on May 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Adjoran on May 6, 2013 at 2:47 PM

I can’t speak for anyone else but I hope he wins. Don’t they get multiple votes up north?

Cindy Munford on May 6, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Dead heat goes to the dem. GOP voters aren’t going to be anxious to head to the polls to vote for this guy. They might say over the phone that they support him, but actually showing up? Nah. Not going to happen.

Rational Thought on May 6, 2013 at 3:32 PM

So Sanford had an affair and lied about it? And THAT is supposed to make him poison to women? As I recall, we had a President with that on his record and women love him. Perhaps Sanford is on to something here. The worse he treats women, the more they love him. This might be something for future Republican candidates to think about. Have an affair and then run for office.

duggersd on May 6, 2013 at 4:31 PM

She was asked about repealing ObamaCare, not passing new stuff. But then, I doubt she’s read ObamaCare either.

Fenris on May 6, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Shortly after she clarified that she would NOT vote to repal Obama’care’, that she misspoke.

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Another black eye for the republican party.

rubberneck on May 6, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Bill Clinton has two black eyes? Really?

Schadenfreude on May 6, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Sanford by 3+

SouthernGent on May 6, 2013 at 6:44 PM