As you may know by now, the Democratic voters of South Carolina have nominated a complete unknown with a felony charge to oppose Jim DeMint in the Senate race and a perennial candidate to run for the open seat in SC-01.
So, how could this have happened? Were the S.C. Democrats really so incompetent? Did Democratic voters just choose alphabetically, as Carol Fowler claims? Well, let's take a closer look.
One of the unsuccessful candidates of the night was Brian Doyle. Here is his position on health care.
And guess what, Brian Doyle is a convicted felon as well.
Who paid Mr. Doyle's filing fee? Who paid his legal bills? Is anyone asking these questions?
Fortunately, Jane Dyer took care of business and won the 3rd District nomination. Yet this joke of a candidate still managed to get 1/3 of the vote! 16,149 Democrats showed up in one of the most Republican districts in the state. The last time there was a Democratic primary, only 14,485 Democrats showed up.
Even fishier is that convicted felon Brian Doyle got more votes in the Democratic primary in 2010 against the 2008 candidate running for an open seat than Anderson City Councilman Philip Cheney got in hopeless race against another unknown for the right to lose to Gresham Barrett in 2006!
As for Ben Frasier, he has run before. But how has he done?
In 2006, Mr. Frasier came in first in a three-way race against Ralph Ledford and Randy Maatta. He lost the runoff to Maatta. 10,729 total votes were cast in that election.
In 2008, Mr. Frasier lost to Linda Ketner. 13,978 total votes were cast in that election.
In 2010, Mr. Frasier defeated Robert Burton and won the nomination. Although turnout was described as light, somehow 18,951 votes were cast in that election.
In his previous two elections, Mr. Frazier received 5,100 and 4,871 votes, respectively. This time he received over 10,549, 5449 more votes than his best previous total. 18,951 - 5449 = 13,502, which is about the total number of votes we would expect in a Democratic Primary for this district. So, are we supposed to believe that over 5,000 additional Democrats than in a normal race showed up to vote and they all voted for Ben Frasier?
The Senate race is even more bizarre. In 2008, Bob Conley and Michael Cone "battled" to see who would get the right to lose to Lindsey Graham. Neither candidate had any money, any support, or any chance. Neither ran much of a campaign. And sure enough, the voters tossed a coin to pick between them. Bob Conley won 50.36% to 49.64% out of 147,287 votes cast. He won by pure chance.
In 2010, by contrast, Vic Rawl was a real candidate. Alvin Greene was not. But let's look at the results.
Alvin M Greene (DEM) 58.96% 100,053
Vic Rawl (DEM) 41.04% 69,645
Admittedly, Vic Rawl didn't campaign as hard as he should have. But a battle between two unknowns would look like the "coin toss" of 2008, not a 59-41 blowout.
And did I mention that South Carolina uses electronic voting machines with no paper trail--machines that have been banned in other states for "critical security vulnerabilities."
Interestingly enough, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Frasier, and Mr. Greene are all African-American. Their opponents are all white. Now, that would put the Democrats in an tough situation given the history of race in the south because they would have to invalidate an election that granted a nomination to an African-American and give it to a white instead. Such a move could split the SCDP along racial lines. They also know that white South Carolinians are prejudiced enough to believe that either the majority African-American Democratic voters either vote exclusively on the basis of race, or that they are too stupid to know for whom they are voting.
The rumors about Nikki Haley were done by rank amateurs. (Unless done by Haley herself, in which case I am impressed.) Whoever did this was a pro.
Now, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am very skeptical of anyone who claims that an election was rigged because that's usually an excuse for a poor performance. But these numbers are extremely improbable and deserve a second look before we accept the results of the South Carolina primaries.