Well, that didn’t take long. Just minutes after the polls officially closed tonight the Associated Press called it for Gov. Nikki Haley. If true, Haley would likely have a bigger margin than her last race against Democratic candidate Vincent Sheheen when she won by a 51 percent to 47 percent margin.
Meanwhile, the AP also called it quickly for Republican senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham… who were already heavy favorites over their challengers Joyce Dickerson and Brad Hutto, respectively. Scott’s vote was particularly historic… the first time an African-American was ever elected to the Senate from South Carolina.
It’s been a frustrating campaign cycle for Democrats. Barring an upset from what the polling has showed Republicans are expected to once again sweep all the statewide offices.
It’s still too early to call all of the other races at this time. Voters will decide on each of the state’s nine constitutional officer positions all of its members of Congress — where the incumbents are heavily favored and will answer two constitutional questions. First: voters were asked if they want to create a special exemption in the state’s gambling laws to allow charity raffles hosted by nonprofit groups. Currently the state constitution has strict no-gambling language. Voters are also being asked if they want to continue electing the head of the National Guard in South Carolina or make the job appointed.
A fun fact: this was the first year that liquor stores could be open on Election Day in South Carolina. Lawmakers voted to end the ban this year. The law dates back to the 19th Century, when it was common practice to have polling places in a bar and for politicians to buy alcohol for votes.
Listen to South Carolina Radio Network’s first election update below: