Earlier this week, the National Journal published an article that said black voters are key to a Colbert Busch win in South Carolina. Next Tuesday, eligible voters in the highly Republican SC District 1 will cast their votes for the special general election. Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D), whose brother is comedian Stephen Colbert, will face former South Carolina Governor, Mark Sanford (R) for the open seat vacated by now Senator Tim Scott (R). In 2012, white voters contributed to Mitt Romney’s South Carolina pickup; however, the 1st district is nicely made up of black residents; 1 in every 5 residents is black. The article also points out that interviews conducted amongst black voters showed large distrust and lack of support for Mark Sanford. This is due in part to his extramarital affair – “We don’t need people like him who set a bad example,” said Virginia Rosemond. Even in this heavily red district, disgust by one important group can affect ones chances of winning an election as Mark Sanford may well find out. Though name recognition is not high among Colbert Busch, her party affiliation is sure to help her get the black vote; however, a factor that could squander this is the new South Carolina law that requires voters to show a form of photo identification when voting.
There still remains an uncertainty among black voter turnout in the May 7th special election. It is also good to note that Mark Sanford’s recent trespassing allegations could easily hand Colbert Busch a win even with low black turnout; however, today’s Crystal Ball is still reporting the special election as a tossup. All we can do now is wait for polls to close Tuesday evening and precincts to start reporting.
Be sure to check back next Tuesday for our take on the South Carolina Congressional District 1 special general election!