SC Gov: Democrat Vince Sheheen Pulls within 4 Points of Palin’s GOP-Tea Party Pick

Vincent Sheheen
Vincent Sheheen
Here’s unexpected good news. A new poll [PDF] in South Carolina shows a tightening in the governor’s race. Democrat Vincent Sheheen has closed in on Palin/tea bagger favorite Nikki Haley, 41 percent to 45 percent — 13 percent undecided.

Haley has been seen as a rising star on the fringe right because of her association with Sarah Palin, whose endorsement helped her in the GOP primary.

Sheheen’s surge comes on the heels of word that conservatives in this fire-engine-red red state were organizing against Haley:

A small group of prominent S.C. Republicans have formed a committee to demand answers from gubernatorial Republican nominee Nikki Haley about allegations of extramarital affairs made by two S.C. men, her qualifications for a high-paying job with the Lexington Medical Foundation and her disclosure she worked part-time for an engineering firm, Wilbur Smith, shortly before the June primary…

“There are questions that are on the minds of many conservatives and that we have a right to ask and expect to get answers on,” said Cyndi Mosteller, co-chair of the new group and former first vice chair of the state GOP. Mosteller said the committee will not endorse a gubernatorial candidate.

“Our goal is to ask questions for the sake of us, for Republican principles and for the people of South Carolina. If we can be a part of getting answers and having an informed electorate, that is our goal,” added Mosteller who questioned Haley’s character in a recent newspaper editorial.

In a more multicultural state, the fact that Haley’s family is from India — she was born Nimrata Randhawa — wouldn’t matter. But among ultra-conservative voters in South Carolina, it does, and, yes, the rumors of adultery fuel that bigotry.

In light of the rumors, it doesn’t help Haley that South Carolina’s Christian right establishment is still smarting from the betrayal of the current governor, Mark Sanford — a white Christian involved in the C Street fundamentalist cult on Capitol Hill, who nonetheless cheated on his wife, the mother of his four sons, by euphemistically “hiking on the Appalachian Trail” with a woman in Argentina.

Sheheen has benefited from a surprise endorsement by the decidedly GOP-leaning South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and from the fraying within Haley’s Republican base. The good news is he appears to be a smart, capable, common-sense centrist Democrat, who would be a credit to South Carolina.

Check out Vincent Sheheen’s campaign website.


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