By Carole on Jun 24, 2010
South Carolina's candidates, voters and state party chairwomen are shining a strong spotlight on the differences between Republicans and Democrats in the current election cycle. This week's runoff victories by gubernatorial nominee Nikki Haley (R) and congressional nominee Tim Scott (R) proved that their conservative, smaller government message is just what Palmetto State voters want to hear while Democrats are struggling to figure out what their candidates' message might be.
State GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd comfortably spoke in the aftermath of Tuesday night's vote calling this year's slate of Republican candidates "the most reform minded ticket in the history of South Carolina" and adding, "We have heard what South Carolina has said."
Meanwhile, State Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler didn't much like references to the 'Greene-Sheheen Democratic machine', a phrase used by Ms. Floyd to describe the opposition. Ms. Fowler called it "a silly gimmick" when it is merely honest recognition of who the two top Democratic candidates are.
Greene is Alvin Greene (D), the still somewhat unknown candidate for US Senate who won the Democratic primary with relative ease after doing absolutely no campaigning. Sheheen is State Senator Vincent Sheheen (D) who will oppose Ms. Haley in November. So far Mr. Sheheen's message is to rail against South Carolina's current Governor Mark Sanford (R) calling the current gubernatorial race, “a choice between extending the Sanford legacy of more conflict, of division, of antagonism or of working together to solve the very real problems that we face." (source) Sound like the 'promise post partisanship while bashing your would be predecessor' technique of any other Democrat you know?
Ms. Fowler continued to complain about the 'Greene-Sheheen' phrase by stating, "Alvin Greene is irrelevant to South Carolina voters and he is irrelevant to the fall campaign." (source)
So there it is. South Carolina’s Republican candidates have a strong message of fiscal conservatism and smaller government that resonates with the people of the state and is supported by their state party officials. South Carolina's Democratic candidates have no message of their own beyond vague promises and bashing the previous administration and their state party leadership claims the voters' choice is irrelevant. The same could be said for many other states and that difference between the current parties could provide a much needed national course correction in November.
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