The South Carolina Republican Party expects the state to remain with a majority of GOP leadership after November’s election.
“We had upwards of 150,000 new first time voters in the 2016 election because they were excited about President Trump’s agenda and what he was going to do,” insisted state party chairman Drew McKissick. “And (the President’s) been delivering on those promises. We look to work to remind folks of everything we’ve been able to accomplish in the last two years right on up to November.”
Political analysts nationwide have been citing a trend in special elections across the country to suggest a backlash against Trump and Republicans could be coming this fall. The political parties of sitting presidents historically suffer losses in that president’s first midterm election.
But South Carolina Republicans are optimistic their nearly two-decade hold on power.
“The Republican Party and the candidates believe strongly in lower, lower, lower taxes, free enterprise, individual responsibility and a strong defense and those other very important items that we’ve seen the party stand for for years,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. He heads the ballot among Republicans seeking voters in November.
“It’s the conservative creed, the conservative philosophy of free enterprise, individual responsibility and progress and prosperity that is good for the country and good for South Carolina and that’s why Republicans are winning elections all over South Carolina,” McMaster maintained.
State Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, is the Democratic candidate for governor. He has hoped to capitalize on McMaster’s ties to Trump, particularly on tariffs that threaten to impact South Carolina soybean farmers and manufacturing plants.
McMaster said competition among the southeastern states for new business is fierce, but suggested Republican policies on lower taxes and tort reform are luring them here.
“Now is the time not to slow down and change philosophy, go from a low-tax, free enterprise philosophy to one of high taxes and high regulations and that’s what the Democrats in Washington, as well as this state, want to do,” he insisted. “If we miss this opportunity we won’t be able to have another one like this for a long time.”
McMaster’s running mate for lieutenant governor is Travelers Rest businesswoman Pamela Evette. Smith has tapped State Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell, D-Lancaster, as his running mate.