These two reports are encouraging to those who hope that Senator Lindsey Graham is retired by the voters in South Carolina next year.
The first one is in USA Today. Here’s an important bio on the two new candidates (Businessman Richard Cash is the first to get into the race):
Nancy Mace, the first female graduate of The Citadel who has strong ties to the Tea Party movement, posted on Facebook that she will announce her Senate campaign on Saturday.
State Sen. Lee Bright, a leading libertarian voice in the South Carolina Legislature, told The State newspaper that he plans to announce his campaign in a few weeks. Richard Cash, a businessman who lost a 2010 race for Congress, is already in the race.
Normally several candidates means the incumbent wins with a reduced vote. But in the South, where at one time the Democratic primary was the election, there was set up a runoff system to ensure that the winner got a majority of the voters. This however had the unintended consequence of making the favorite’s strategy to be: Win in the first primary. Otherwise, the combined voters of the others could unite around the other runoff survivor. This is what occurred in the Dewhurst-Cruz race in Texas in 2012. Dewhurst won the first primary but did not get 50% and then lost to the second place Cruz.
That leads me to this article in Real Clear Politics:
But this line of reasoning has a potential flaw: South Carolina electoral law stipulates that a candidate must win at least 50 percent of the primary vote to avoid a runoff, and Graham’s chances of reaching that threshold could become even more difficult with additional names on the ballot.
And in a one-on-one runoff , all bets are off for Graham, who would likely have to fight tooth and nail for his political survival.
Former South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson — who runs a super PAC supporting the already well-funded incumbent — explained in stark terms the challenge ahead: “Fifty percent in a three- or four-person race is a hard number to get to. It just is. My expectation would be a runoff.”