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Mon May 6, 2019, 06:52 PM

Charleston is a Democratic county: What should this mean for its Republican incumbents?

Charleston is officially a Democratic county. A look at the results from the past few election cycles shows why Republican incumbents running countywide have an uphill climb these days.

Going back to the 2008 general election, Republican John McCain soundly defeated Democrat Barack Obama statewide in the presidential election. In Charleston, however, Obama edged McCain with a 53-45 percent margin. That year, 57 percent of Charleston voters who voted straight ticket voted Democratic, while only 40 percent voted straight-ticket Republican. The trend continued in 2010. In a midterm election year, Charleston County still had more Democrats voting straight-ticket (49.5 percent) than Republican (46.6 percent) according to the S.C. Election Commission.

In perhaps one of the most dramatic contrasts for S.C. elections, in 2012, Republican Mitt Romney beat incumbent Obama by 10 points statewide. Still, Obama narrowly won Charleston County (50.4-48 percent). That year, an even higher percentage of straight-ticket voters cast ballots for Democrats (53 percent) than Republicans (44 percent).

Same story in 2014. A whopping 56.8 percent of straight-ticket voters supported Democrats in Charleston County that year, while only 40.6 percent voted straight-ticket Republican. Statewide, as then-Gov. Nikki Haley throttled Democratic state Sen. Vince Sheheen by nearly 15 points, Sheheen defeated Haley in Charleston County 48.5 to 47.8 percent.

Read more: https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/charleston-is-a-democratic-county-what-should-this-mean-for-its-republican-incumbents/Content?oid=28170772

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