With U.S. Senator Jim DeMint enjoying a 63 percent to 19 percent lead over Alvin Greene in the latest Rasmussen Poll, Clemson University Political Science professor David Woodard says voters will not see the senator making frequent political stops in the state. Woodard says with a sizeable cushion, DeMint will likely be traveling around the country working to get more Republicans elected to Congress. Woodard says methodically DeMint has courted and gained the ear of the conservative base of the GOP nationally.
I think he is the most potent politician since I’ve lived in South Carolina in the 1980’s nationally because of the role he is playing in the Republican Party. I used to think that Strom (Thurmond) was or someone like that but really they were past their prime while Jim DeMint is in his prime right now.
Noted University of Virginia Political Science professor Larry Sabato is predicting that Republicans are likely to gain 47 seats in the U.S. House, while capturing 8 or 9 seats in the Senate.
Woodard says riding the crest of the Tea Party movement, DeMint has gained quite a bit of political clout and showed during the primary season that he has shown no qualms about wielding it.
He has taken some risk, but they have paid off. If U.S. Senate candidates Marco Rubio wins in Florida, if Ken Buck wins in Colorado and the polls are indicating that both are likely to win, DeMint would then cement for himself a strong position of leadership in the national GOP. With that position DeMint would be a force to be contended with.
Woodard says DeMint has his sights set on a powerful role in the 2012 Republican National Convention.
He will speak for the conservatives. They don’t have a voice now. He will have some clout because he would have brought some people into office with him.
Woodard says he looks for DeMint to pile up the frequent flyer miles this campaign season in an effort to get GOP congressional candidates in other states elected so they can join him in Congress. Woodard says DeMint will make sure to return to South Carolina close to Election Day. “I think we’ll probably see Jim DeMint (in South Carolina) two weeks before the election. Up until then he’ll keep going around the country.”