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BREAKING NEWS - Ted Vick arrested for DUI, and had a 21yr old USC student and unregistered gun in the car. (Hat Tip James L). Well they sure know how to party in South Carolina don't they ?

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This diary is a bit of a run down of the Pee Dee region based SC-07, which the DCCC have made an Emerging District in their Red to Blue program. The district appears to be fairly troubled economically, especially the African American community. It has also been a race that has flown a little below the radar until perhaps the last month or so... It caught my interest as being one of a dozen house seats where the Dems actually had some local candidates raising real money on the 1Q2012 fundraising diary. I thought I would invest some time on this race as it does not really have any interesting races at the top of the ticket. It is also the most competitive of the Republican seats at 45/54 Obama.

The Short Version
To cut a long story short for those who cant be bothered reading this sermon, I have decided to change my race rating for SC-07 to Lean Republican, subject to Ted Vick winning the Dem Primary. Note: As per Cook I classify all competitive races Lean D, Tossup or Lean R. Likely D/R is for potentially competitive races.

I believe the seat is competitive because:

- It is a presidential year, with good turnout likely, and with a strong local blue dog in Ted Vick who has the money, the endorsements, and a good electoral record.
- The republican field is large and bereft of talent (none of the many local state senators or state reps. got in), with the presumed front runner Andre Bauer a graduate from the school of the Abel Maldonado campaign finance.
- The SC-07 CD was won by the Dems in 2002 Governors Race, and Shaheen kept it competitive in a tough year for Dems in the 2010 Governors Race (with an uncompetitive senate race that was a joke).
- Greater than 50% of the local State Senators and State Representatives who represent SC-07 are Democrats.
- Steven Colbert's Super Pac "Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" is likely to drown this race in $$, probably.
- Most competitive South Carolina CD at 45/54.
- So Obama will bring out the African American vote, Vick will bring out the Chesterfield vote and hopefully Romney will not be able to help bring out the Myrtle Beach vote. And Bauer is so abhorrent to the Republican State Legislature they did not want to impeach Mark Sanford because Bauer would have become Governor.  

There that is the short version.

The District

Courtesy of the South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics is the proposed new congressional map overlayed with counties and cities.

The Dems
We have an excellent candidate in Ted Vick, who is clearly the Blue Dog/Conservadem that is needed to win the seat. He has been endorsed by anybody who is anybody in the South Carolina Democrats, including Spratt, Jim Rex (the last Statewide Dem officeholder), Vincent Shaheen, and 5 of the 8 other Dems in SC-07. And yes he does support President Obama. Of the other candidates, they all seem to be decent and thoughtful people, although Dr Gloria Tinubu seems a perennial candidate. Preston Brittain seems to be raising money at a good clip, but has no institutional support outside of Florence and seems to lack crossover appeal. Vick seems to have a lot of out of State fundraising support.

All the candidates seem broadly in agreement in a recent debate, that the key to success is the extension of the I-73 which will allow for the development of the area.

The Disclaimer
Apologies in advance for any errors in this diary - and would be interested in any local knowledge or any opposing points of view. However... for those of you reading this who think that it would be better to have a Republican than Vick - this diary is probably not for you. Yes I know that he recently quit ALEC so he is not a real democrat blah blah blah. I supported Cartwright and Critz over Holden and Altmire so I am no Blue Dog, but I am a pragmatist. I am more than happy for discussion over Brittain or Tinubu if I have missed some of their electable qualities, but not any views on how they are the only real dems in the race.

The GOP Field
The Republican field is not a field of top tier challengers - the presumed front runner local rep. Thad Viers got arrested in January 2012. This has left a field of Myrtle Beach lawyers/Republican Committee Chairmen and Andre Bauer... a reasonably poor excuse for a human being.

Bauer's old State Senate district doesn't look like it was anywhere near SC-07, although he has filed with a postal address at Little River in Horry County. He has made those infamous comments about public school children being like stray animals, inspired the Republican Legislature not to impeach former Gov. Sanford, did very poorly in the 2010 Governors Race and is the subject of those rumours.

The Fundraising Controversy
I will keep tabs on the race as Bauer is apparently using Abel Maldonado's awesomely clever strategy of loaning himself money just before the filing deadline and then repaying it after, as identified by chief challenger Tom Rice (as per scnow.com):

Rice told the The Sun News Bauer loaned his campaign $150,000 from his own pocket to reach that fundraising level.  Rice did not name an opponent when he spoke to News 13 but said, "One of my opponents loaned their campaign $150,000 one day - and the next week paid himself back the entire amount."
As per jeffmd's 1Q2012 House Roundup, Bauer did loan himself $150K... so perhaps he did pay himself back promptly afterwards ? It did get him one favourable headline - but without the $150K he would trail Rice by 2 to 1. The following new report mentions $300K.

As per David Nir's live digest he is out with his first add.

Oh and his full name is Rudolph Andreas Bauer... Fortunately for Christmas he goes by his middle name.

Recent SC-07 Races
I believe that this race is competitive in that old Conservative Southern Democrats have not yet been wiped out in the area, and that several of them in the area are top tier politicians at the local and statewide levels. Whilst he lives just outside the district, State Senator Vincent Sheheen represents part of it (Chesterfield), and he ran a very competitive race against Nikki Haley in a Republican wave year, losing 47%/51% with 1% for Greens. Part of the district was also represented for a long time by John Spratt, before he was overwhelmed by the Republican wave election and the growing Charlotte suburbs that were not historically Democrat.

Electorally, Dems have not actually won the Pee-Dee region in the 2006 and 2010 Governor's races because the region's largest city Myrtle Beach is a Republican stronghold. However despite losing Statewide to Sanford in 2002, Gov. Hodges won the 8 counties in SC-07 51.42%-48.58% (although this includes the Dem heavy Lake City portion of Florence which is not part of SC-07). Shaheen did worst in SC-07 than Statewide, getting 46.39% to 52.20% for Haley. Sheheen also had a problem in that the Senate race his year was a joke, and it was a Republican wave year. He won 6 of the 8 counties in SC-07, but the margin in Horry County was too great. Excluding Horry County, he won the other 7 counties 53.80% to 45.02%.

This year is a Presidential year however, there is no embarrassing senate race on at the same time, and Romney is unlikely to spend a dime here (I am guessing - he really has to be on offense elsewhere doesn't he ? This time will see a very popular local democrat (at least in the northern 6 counties) combined with Obama at the top of the ballot in an area where 7 of the 8 counties in the district have anywhere between 33%-56% African American population (not sure of the VAP). Not having a Greens candidate siphoning 1% of the vote would be good.

On the negative side, Myrtle Beach is a huge obstacle to overcome, Vick likely has to get 40% of the vote and keep Florence and Georgetown counties at least even. The Lake City section of Florence (4,144-2,749 with total voters of 6,943) (59.69%-39.59%) was left out of the district making this tougher.

Using the approved 2012 Legislative maps, 6 of the 9 State Senators that represent SC-07 are Democrats, giving the Democrats a strong bench in the area. There are 19 State Representatives that represent SC-07, and of the 12 non-Horry County seats, 9 are held by Democrats, only 3 by Republicans. For the Horry County section there are 7 seats, 6 held by Republicans and 1 nominally held by a Democrat although the seat is an open Safe Republican seat created through redistricting.

The Scene
The Obama for America (OFA) campaign have chosen Charlotte, North Carolina to be the scene of the Democratic National Committee Convention. But at the moment the news from North Caroline seems dour... so perhaps OFA might invest some time in SC-07 ? Vick's stronghold of Chesterfield is in the Charlotte media market, although the rest of the district is in Florence/Myrtle Beach media market.

My prediction
Ted Vick to be the successful Dem nominee, although he was out raised by Brittain last quarter he starts off with a big advantage (he even has the three Florence based Dem State Reps to stump for him on Brittains home turf). If Brittain can convince the southern parts of the district to vote for him (Horry, Georgetown) he might be able to force a runoff. I guess Andre Bauer to be the Rep nominee although I presume Rice will be a formidable challenger, and will force it to a runoff.

Race Ratings
Currently the race is pegged as Likely Republican by Roll Call and Cook, Safe Republican by Sabato and Rothenberg. I also had it at Likely Rep based on the competitive fundraising by not one, but two Dems, and the relatively okay (for South Carolina) presidential results from the 2008 election.

On the Dem side, if anyone other than Vick wins the Dem primary, the seat goes to Likely Rep. If Brittain wins then I would keep tabs on it. If Vick wins the primary, the race goes to Lean Dem.

(Assuming Vick wins the Dems) On the Rep side, if Rice wins the primary the race goes to Lean Rep, but if Bauer wins it goes to Tossup. So generic R is far better than Bauer.

The Primary Deadlines
The Filing Deadline was 30 March 2012, and the Primary Election will be held on 12 June 2012. The Primary Runoff Election will be held on 26 June 2012.

The Debates

According to scnow.com, there will be a few debates:

The Republican candidates will debate at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center on June 4th at 7 p.m.  The Democratic candidates will debate at the Coastal Carolina University Wheelwright Auditorium on June 7th at 7 p.m.
The Facts
Please look below the fold for the relevant election stats and details of SC-07 and the various Democrat and Republican contenders.

The District
This is a new seat at 45/54 Obama. It was created from parts of three CDs:

- 1st CD (47%) (held by Republican Tim Scott),  
- 5th CD (29%) (held by Republican Mick Mulvaney who beat John Spratt in 2010), &
- 6th CD (24%) (held by Democrat Jim Clyburn)

The district is almost the entire Pee Dee region of South Carolina centered on the cities of Myrtle Beach and Florence, and is composed of 7 full counties and part of one other. The Republican strength is concentrated in Horry County, with 4 counties reasonable balanced and three strongly Democratic smaller counties. All the counties apart from Horry have large African American populations. The CD is split into 3 media markets - Charlotte (2), Myrtle Beach/Florence (5) and Charleston (1).

SC-07s Counties & the 2008 Presidential Elections Stats

County Name County Seat Pop % AA Notes
Florence (1) Florence 136,885 40%
Georgetown Georgetown 60,158 39%
Marion Marion 33,062 56%
Dillon Dillon 32,062 45%
Marlboro Bennetsville 28,933 51%
Darlington Darlington 68,681 42%
Chesterfield Chesterfield 46,734 33%
Horry Conway 269,291 15%
1=Most of Florence is included (the Lake City section is in an adjoining CD)

SC-07s Counties & the 2008 Presidential Elections Stats

County Name D(#) D(%) R(#) R(%) T(#) Turnout
Florence 23,868 46.41% 27,112 52.72% 51,430 40%
Georgetown 14,199 46.88% 15,790 52.13% 30,290 39%
Marion 9,608 63.32% 5,416 35.69% 15,174 56%
Dillon 7,408 55.21% 5,874 43.78% 13,417 45%
Marlboro 6,794 62.47% 3,996 36.74% 10,876 51%
Darlington 14,505 49.45% 14,544 49.58% 29,334 42%
Chesterfield 7,842 47.94% 8,325 50.89% 16,359 33%
Horry 38,879 37.10% 64,609 61.65% 104,798 15%
1=Not all of Florence is included (the Lake City section is in an adjoining CD)

SC-07s Counties & the 2010 Gubernatorial Elections Stats

County Name D(#) D(%) R(#) R(%) T(#) Turnout
Florence 19,802 51.4% 18,219 47.3% 38,021 28.12%
Georgetown 9,633 45.5% 11,248 53.2% 20,881 35.17%
Marion 6,804 65.9% 3,389 32.8% 10,193 31.21%
Dillon 4,621 59.0% 3,127 39.9% 7748 23.70%
Marlboro 4,827 67.1% 2,265 31.5% 7092 24.85%
Darlington 11,284 52.9% 14,544 46.1% 21,124 31.07%
Chesterfield 6,232 55.9% 4,797 43.1% 11,029 23.84%
Horry 23,776 34.0% 44,998 64.3% 68,774 26.00%
TOTAL 86,979 47.05% 97,883 52.95% 184,862 27.70%

SC-07s Counties & the 2002 Gubernatorial Elections Stats

County Name D(#) D(%) R(#) R(%) T(#)
Florence 15396 48.15% 16581 51.85% 31,977
Georgetown 8130 48.58% 8606 51.42% 16,376
Marion 6153 67.44% 2971 32.56% 9124
Dillon 3960 62.08% 2419 37.92% 6379
Marlboro 4218 70.71% 1747 29.29% 5965
Darlington 9630 53.09% 8509 46.91% 18,139
Chesterfield 5522 61.55% 3449 38.45% 8,971
Horry 24,519 45.84% 28971 54.16% 53,490
TOTAL 77,528 51.42% 73,253 48.58% 150,781
The Democrats
Each name in the table below is a link to the candidate's website. $ courtesy of the 1Q2012 Fundraising Diary. Most notes in the table link to scnow.com's candidate summary.

Democrat Contenders - Occupations & $$$

Name Occupation Home Location Notes $ Collected $ Spent $ CoH
Ted Vick State Rep - 53rd Chesterfield Top Tier $280K $52K $304K
Preston Brittain Horry County Attorney 2nd Tier $339K $86K $249K
Glora Tinubu Conway Coastal Carolina Uni. Prof.
frm. Atlanta City councilwoman &
frm. Georgia legislator
Wealthy Some Dude $30K $100K $45K
Parnell Diggs Myrtle Beach Lawyer, Blind Advocate Some Dude $21K $18K $3K
Harry Pavilack Lawyer Myrtle Beach Some Dude - In Debt $3550 $26 $3524

Democrat Contenders Endorsements

Name Dem Groups Endorsements
Ted Vick Blue Dogs John Spratt (former Congressman)
Vincent Shaheen (State Sen-Chesterfield)
Jackie Hayes (State Rep-Dillon)
Terry Alexander (State Rep-Florence)
Robert Williams (State Rep-Florence)
Elizabeth Munnerlyn (State Rep-Marlboro)
Lester Branham (State Rep-Florence)
Harry Ott - House Minority Leader
Jim Rex (Form. Eduction Super.)
Preston Brittain N/A Steven Wakela (Mayor-Florence)
Glora Tinubu SC AFL-CIO N/A
Parnell Diggs N/A N/A
Harry Pavilack N/A N/A

Ted Vick's Electoral History

Date Election Result
2nd Nov 2010 General 97.68%
(6150 votes)
4th Nov 2008 General 99.49%
(9650 votes)
7th Nov 2006 General 99.39%
(5520 votes)
13th Jun 2006 Primary 84.72%
(3759 votes)
2nd Nov 2004 General 97.93%
(9016 votes)
22nd Jun 2004 Primary Runoff 54.29%
(2409 votes)
8th Jun 2004 Primary 34.63%
(1452 votes)
Information sourced from here at Ourcampaigns. Vick has never had a real Republican challenging him, although he had to fight hard to first get elected in 2004 against James Sweeney and third place Kim Burch.

The Republicans
There are around 16 Republican challengers and there is no way that I care to look at them all. The prominent ones (the ones invited to the debates/have raised real money) are listed in the table below. Also running are many others: Katherine Jenerette (Over the top Palin wannabe), Dick Withington (Divorced Retiree), Edward Karabees (needs a website), Renee Culler (Murrels Inlet Realtor), Gary Stephens, James Mader. The good looking Mandy Wilkes has withdrawn and endorsed Bauer. Deborah Harwell has also withdrawn.

Each name in the table below is a link to the candidate's website. $ courtesy of the 1Q2012 Fundraising Diary. Most notes in the table link to scnow.com's candidate summary. Thanks to Race Tracker Wiki for giving me a head start with the candidate details.

Republican Contenders

Name Occupation Home Location Notes $ Collected $ Spent $ CoH
Andre Bauer Former Lt. Gov.
Unsuccessful Gov. Cand.
Form. State Sen. (SD-18)
Form. State Rep. (HD-085)
Little River Top Tier $275K $70K $171K or
$321K?
Tom Rice Horry County Rep. Chair
Attorney
Horry County Councillor
Myrtle Beach 2nd Tier $360K $85K $293K
Jay Jordan Attorney Florence Wealthy Some Dude $191K $105K $166K
Chandler Prosser Businessman Horry County Former Parks & Rec Super.
Form. Horry County Councillor
2nd Tier
$117K $54K $166K
Randal Wallace Myrtle Beach City Councillor Horry County 3rd Tier with $$ Issues $19K $2K $17K?
So in an excellent turn of events none of the State Senators or State Representatives ended up running. You have the current Horry County Chair facing a predecessor as well as a Myrtle Beach City Councillor, perhaps exhausting the Horry County vote and allowing Jay Jordan to make a primary runoff ?

Now I know many people reading this diary are hard right fundamentalist tea bag republicans wanting to know which mindless pledges that subvert democracy each Republican has signed. The rest of you clearly hate America.

Republican Contenders - their Pledges

Name Pledge Notes
Andre Bauer No pledges Makes his own 7 for 7 plan that includes the usual repeal Obamacare and balanced budget amendment etc.
Tom Rice No pledges and doesn't mention Obamacare. Establishment whiff to this candidate who may hate America.
Jay Jordan Tax Payer Protection Pledge, Death Tax Repeal Pledge, US Term Limits Amendment Pledge Pledges to love Pledges does Jay. Doesn't need to show up to congress - he has pledged his responsibilities to Grover & co.
Chandler Prosser No pledges that I can see, but his no 1 priority is repealing Obamacare Chad is clearly hard right but wants a reason to show up in Washington
Randal Wallace Cut, Cap & Balance Pledge, Death Tax Repeal Pledge Randy loves budget surpluses and rich people leaving their money to their kids. No pledges for looking after the poor.
Map of SC-07 State Senate Districts
Courtesy of the South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics is the proposed new State Senate map (for 2012 elections) overlayed with counties and cities.

SC-07s Senators and their Districts


There are 9 state senators representing the SC-7 area, 6 Democrats (4 representing VRA Districts) and 3 Republicans. Three districts are only partly in SC-07 (27th, 34th and 36th).
# District County Base Senator Residence Notes
27 Chesterfield Vincent A. Shaheen (D) Camden 2010 Gov. Cand.
Mostly in SC-07
28 Horry (North Myrtle Beach) Dick Elliott North Myrtle Beach 76yrs Old, prime redistricting target
29 Darlington/Marlboro Gerald Malloy (D) Hartsville AA Plurality
30 Marion/Dillon Kent M. Williams (D) Marion AA Majority
31 Florence Hugh K. Leatherman Sr (R) Florence 81yr old Inc.
32 Georgetown (John) Yancey McGill (D) Kingstree AA Majority
33 Horry (Myrtle Beach) Luke A.Rankin (R) Myrtle Beach Turncoat-Dem turned into Rep.
34 Horry (Partly) Raymond Cleary III (R) Murells Inlet Partly in SC-07 only
36 Florence (Party) John C. Land III (D) Maning Partly in SC-07 only
The details in this table are from here. So while State Senator Dick Elliott will be replaced by a Republican sooner or later, the Democrats still have a historic local electoral advantage in the SC-07 area, despite the Republican nature of Horry County.

Details on who is running for re-election can be found here. Will update diary after the filing deadline of 30 May 2012.

Map of SC-07 State House Districts
Courtesy of the South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics is the proposed new State Representatives map (for 2012 elections) overlayed with counties and cities.

SC-07s State Representatives and their Districts Part 1


There are 12 state representatives representing the non Horry County part of the SC-07 area, 9 Democrats (one democrat in HD-061 lives outside the district) and 3 Republicans (HD-108 is only partly in SC-07, but lives in the district).
# District County Base Representative Residence Notes
053 Chesterfield Ted Vick (D) Chesterfield SC-07 Candidate
054 Marlboro Elizabeth Mannerlyn (D) Bennetsville
065 Chesterfield Jay Lucas (R) Hartsville Mostly in SC-07
055 Dillon Jackie E. Hayes (D) Dillon
057 Marion James Battle Jr. (D) Nichols
061 Florence Lester Branham Jr (D) Lake City Lake City is not in SC-07
059 Florence (North) Terry Alexander (D) Florence
060 Florence (South-West) Phillip Lowe (R) Florence
062 Darlington Robert Q. Williams (D) Darlington
063 Florence (Central) Kristopher Crawford (D) Florence
103 Georgetown Carl Anderson (D) Georgetown
108 Charleston (North) Kevin Ryan (R) Pawley Island Only partly in SC-07
The details in this table are from here.

SC-07s State Representatives and their Districts Part 2


There are 7 state representatives representing the Horry County part of the SC-07 area, 1 Democrat and 6 Republicans.
# District County Base Representative Residence Notes
056 Horry Denny Neilson (D) Darlington Redistricting casualty.
Horry County grew rapidly with
the remainder of the region fairly
stagnant, requiring this Darlington
district be relocated to Horry County.
058 Horry Liston Barfield (R) Conway
068 Horry Thad Viers (R) Myrtle Beach Former SC-07 Candidate
Arrested for harassing ex.
104 Horry Tracy Edge (R) North Myrtle Beach
105 Horry George Hearn (R) Conway
106 Horry Nelson Hardwick (R) Surfside Beach
107 Horry Alan D. Clemmons (R) Myrtle Beach
Details in this table are from here.

Details on who is running for re-election can be found here.

POLLING UPDATE
SCNOW.COM & Francis Marion University commissioned Columbia based Crantford & Associates to do two polls, one of the Republican electorate and one of the Democratic electorate.

Republican Primary Poll

FMU/SCNOW.com Poll

- Andre Bauer 22%
- Tom Rice 21%
- Chad Prosser 8%
- Jay Jordan 5%
- Katherine Jenerette 4%
- Dick Withington 2%
- (Jim Mader, Randal Wallace, Renee Culler: 1% each)

Margin of error: +- 3.8 percent. Poll of 641 likely GOP primary voters, conducted May 14-15 by Crantford & Associates of Columbia, S.C. for Francis Marion University and SCnow.com.

It is worth noting that the Republican Primary Poll is Sixty-nine percent from Georgetown and Horry combined – the “beach” side of the district. So the top three counties surveyed: Horry County (54 %), Florence County (16%), and Georgetown County (15%), with the other (fairly Democratic) five counties only totaling 15%.

The winners of the three major counties are (vote % in brackets):
Horry -          1. Tom Rice (28%). 2. Andre Bauer.
Georgetown - 1. Tom Rice (23%). 2. Chad Prosser. 3. Andre Bauer.
Florence -      1. Andre Bauer (22%). 2. Jay Jordan (19%). 3. Tom Rice (10%).

Democratic Primary Poll

Likely Democratic voters in the FMU/SCNOW.com poll struggled to make a selection. The poll was conducted May 14-15 and polled 611 voters in the 7th District.

    Ted Vick: 15 percent
    Gloria Tinubu: 9 percent
    Preston Brittain: 6 percent
    Harry Pavilack: 3 percent
    Parnell Diggs: 3 percent
    Undecided: 65 percent

Margin of error: +- 3.8 percent. Poll conducted May 14-15 by Crantford & Associates of Columbia, S.C. for Francis Marion University and scnow.com.

Unlike the GOP poll, Democratic voters are more evenly spread out across the 7th.
Of the 611 likely Democratic voters polled, roughly 19 percent were from Horry County, the district’s population hub. Florence County made up roughly 15 percent of the poll, Chesterfield County approximately 14 percent, Marion County 12 percent, Darlington 11, Dillon 10, Marlboro 9 and Georgetown County made up 8 percent.

Thu May 24, 2012 at  4:37 PM PT: As James L reported in the Live Digest, local TV reporter Jack Kuenzie has reported that Ted Vick has been arrested for DUI, had a 21yr old USC student and an unregistered gun in the car also.

In breaking new CF of Aus changes the SC-07 to Safe Republican !


Poll

Do you think SC-07 is going to be a Good Target for the Dems ?

37%31 votes
39%32 votes
23%19 votes

| 82 votes | Vote | Results

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