Now that Nikki Haley has officially won the Republican gubernatorial nomination, political observers are beginning to project how the race between Haley and Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen may evolve moving toward November’s general election. Clemson University Political Science professor and Republican political consultant David Woodard says Haley has an advantage as South Carolina is considered a Republican stronghold. But he asserts that Sheheen can counter that with the use of political capital gained from his years of experience in the South Carolina Senate, coupled with his easy-going style.
Woodard points out that Sheheen comes from a strong well-known South Carolina political family. Sheheen’s father, Fred Sheheen, is former Executive Director of the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and his uncle Bob, is a former Speaker of the South Carolina House.
Woodard says Sheheen has already shown during his primary campaign that he can raise funds and he will need a strong war chest to mount a strong campaign against the Republican nominee. Woodard says despite his easy-going style, Sheheen does have the ability to “take the gloves off” when the campaign gets tough as November approaches.
Woodard says that the accusations of infidelity pointed toward Haley will likely continue during the campaign, but he says don’t look for Sheheen to bring them up. Woodard says that will be the job of Sheheen’s campaign surrogates and supporters.