Lexington County Representative Nikki Haley is poised to capture the South Carolina Republican gubernatorial nomination, but first she must win Tuesday’s runoff against Congressman Gresham Barrett. Haley is the clear front-runner after capturing 49 percent of the primary vote to Barrett’s 22 percent. Clemson University Political Science professor and Republican Party consultant Dr. David Woodard says Haley’s rise has been meteoric.
In polling I have seen, she went from somewhere around 20 percent up to 38 percent within about two weeks, and that would have included the time of the two allegations of infidelity and the endorsement by Sarah Palin so she nearly doubled her base during that time. Certainly that the people that were behind her including the Tea Party people and people from the previous Sanford Administration just rode a rocket.
Woodard says he expects Haley to win the nomination, and as she goes forward, she will have to answer some tough questions–not only about how she will eventually handle unproven accusations of infidelity, but various aspects of her campaign as well. Woodard says he finds it interesting that on the national scene how the media is ready to anoint Haley as the next “rising Republican star.”
Talking to these Washington reporters has just been enlightening to me. They’re already ready to get a crown and come down here and put it on Nikki Haley’s head. I talked to a reporter up in Canada and I said it is much too soon to start anointing her. She has to win this primary runoff, win the general election, and do something in office, but they are already set to make her queen.
Woodard says it is a long way from June 22 to November and if Haley does go on to win the Tuesday runoff she will face a very formidable Democratic opponent in State Senator Vincent Sheheen.