Well, what do you know, I see Georgia is being called for the GOP. Whoa! there is Romney in Mass. That makes it even tougher for the Democrats.
- ABC reports that GOP hangs on to the House.
- Lindsey Graham is our next US Senator!
- All U.S./S.C. House seats are called. Add Gresham and keep the rest.
10:10 PM - Alright! The "Penny for the Parks" appears to be going down in flames! A good amount of precincts in and the tax is dying.
10:00 PM - Ooooo, things are beginning to look pretty good for the Republicans in South Carolina. The two major offices are showing Republicans on top statewide and Spartanburg and Greenville are strongly Republican.
The Common Voice editor is breathing a lot easier! If only I felt as excited about the local races. . .
9:55 PM - The Common Voice predicts NO CHANGE in school board.
9:45 PM - I don't mean to be biased, but I have to hand WORD 1330 AM to be the best way to get the numbers for Greenville/Spartanburg races. Television is no help at all. You just get to watch regular programming with numbers coming across the bottom.
WORD reports that Republicans are still holding strong in Greenville - the question is have those numbers begun to make their way into the overall vote count?
9:35 PM - 11,000 votes counted in Greenville County. Still about 2 to 1 for Republicans in the county. Some pundits say this must hold if Republicans are to win the major races.
Interesting - only local race being reported Strom and Haskins. "City Precincts" go 3 to 1 to Strom outlying areas 4 to 1 for Haskins.
Counts are now beginning to pour in. Gresham Barrett is declared winner.
9:30 PM - 47% of precincts in and Republicans begin to move back into the front. Tenenbaum, Long and Patterson breaking the sweep.
9:25 PM - Spartanburg at 90%. The 56% to 46% lead in the gubernatorial race seems to be holding steady. AP is having trouble getting numbers into command center in Columbia.
Stan Spears first declared winner.
9:15 PM - 2 to 1 for Sanford so far with very little reporting from Greenville. Graham 3 to 1 very early in Greenville.
8:50 PM - Greenville County will begin reporting soon. Spartanburg County is now at 80% of the voters.
56% - Graham
46% - Sanders
58% - Sanford
42% - Hodges
Bauer, Hammond, Ryberg, and McMaster all lead
8:25 PM - Spartanburg County has 60% of the precincts reporting. Sanford has barely a 1000 vote lead. Graham has only a 1500 vote lead. Wow. This needs to increase if these guys are going to carry the state.
At this point, no votes have been reported from Greenville Count.
We are definitely in the early stages that see-saw back and forth. Every five minutes it seems to swing. If only the Republicans can hang close until Greenville County. . .
7:30 PM - The polls are closed. You can start looking for the returns soon enough. Here's where to look.
Amendments and Local Questions
The Greenville News
6:00 PM - Rick Beltram (Spartanburg County Republican Chairman) says that today broke the mold of what has happened in the past. The busy times have switched. All precincts busy early and then the big Republican precincts in Spartanburg now have a long wait while big Democrat precincts are slowing down.
Beltram, talking to Ralph Bristol, sounds pretty confident and says that polling lines may close at 7, but the polling could go on for a while which could cause final numbers to come in later than usual.
5:55 PM - WTMA reports that turn-out in Dorchester County is Moderate to Light... yet its been medium to heavy in Charleston County with the Governor's race and the Charleston County's 1/2 cent Sales Tax referendum as being the "hot" topics for people leaving this county's polling precincts.
Charleston County voters are choosing today whether or not to increase our local option sales tax (LOST) from 1% to 1.5%.
If passed, the increase would provide $52 Million a year added to the county's current $130 Million budget. Three of the five mayors in the county see dollar signs with the passage of the "half-cent" referendum, while supporters of smaller government ask that the people "Just say No to Joe" (Charleston's Mayor Joe Riley has been the major proponent of this massive tax increase).
5:45 PM - I've got a fire in the fireplace and my earphones on my head. I've turned on WYFF to get some political news and I got a story about onions. WSPA had a story about crosswalks. WLOS is giving weather. FOX Carolina has a Hodges commercial.
I think I'll go eat some stir-fry with my family and settle in for the evening.
4:55 PM - Two hours to go and the rain has basically now done its work. Dopplar shows Columbia and Charleston without rain. The Weather Channel says that Columbia is foggy. Charleston is showing up as Cloudy and 66°.
Ah, the weather was supposed to hinder turnout. It didn't. So what does that mean? Could it be that the Democrats have succeeded in their "turn out the vote." They have blown the Republicans out of the water in spending for such endeavors.
The Republicans counter that they don't have to spend a lot of money because their people are going to come out without having to be proded with such an organized campaign.
So, is this higher turnout Democrats drawn by the organized get out the vote campaign or Republicans turning out attempting to neutralize the Democrat campaign.
4:30 PM - Well, Drudge gives the early report on the polls. Obviously it is still early, but makes for a very interesting situtation. So far it points to 4 Republicans picking up seats and 3 Democrats.
He also points out that Jeb Bush seems to be "pushing to victory."
4:00 PM - Conway Belangia, with Greenville County Election Commission, spoke with Ralph Bristol in the 3:00 hour. He said that based on the numbers so far the voter turnout is more than the 2000 election. He said the key to the comparison will be the turnout between 4 and 7.
More importantly and the question everyone is wanting to know is, what will a large turnout mean?
3:40 PM - Reports coming into The Common Voice have slowed down. I guess all the TCV readers have already voted and are busy working so they can pay for their "penny for parks."
I just heard the Steve Benjamin "Keith" radio ad for the first time. It caught me off guard. I typically mute political commercials. Now, I am not a McMaster fan - not in the least. However, that ad is just a plain out and out lie! When you take two unrelated truths and put them together to create a lie - it is still a lie!
3:00 PM - My little girl came home from school today. She said it was safari day. That explained why she had a name tag cut out in the shape of an elephant. I asked her if any of the kids had donkeys for their name tags. "Nope, all the kids got elephants." Subliminal message from the teacher. . .
SC Hotline is making me sad. On the first day the editor opens a guestbook there he gets 29 posts! Hey, Mr. SC Hotline, give me some of that pixie dust you've got!
Well, let's go find out what Ralph is saying on WORD 1330 AM! You can get a head start at www.ralphbristol.com.
2:10 PM - So are the Republicans scared or is this phone message (click here) on my answering machine just a ploy to get people out. Further more, I wonder if the "vans and buses" are heated - with an open bar?
1:50 PM - Well, I just returned from my precinct. Steady stream of voters coming in even during heavy rain. This predominantly Republican precinct had at least four voting booths full at all times.
Hey, hey, hey! Mark Sanford was there - in person! You can see we are out in the parking lot (yes, it was 75 feet away).
Looks like I might actually be doing a "cameo" tonight on FOX 21 out of Greenville. Their cameras were there and they filmed Mark and me talking. Sure hope I was talking to the future governor of South Carolina. . .
Last night's Zogby polling had Sanford up one. Nobody wants to be that close!
11:40 AM - Outside my 14 by 8 office window I see plenty of liquid. However, here I go into the rain to grab a bite to eat and head to my precinct to vote. I'll let you know what I did when I get back.
Sanford is supposed to be at my precinct during the lunch hour. Hope he stays 75 feet away!
Feel free to let everyone know how you voted, if you would like. Just make sure you vote in the "Vote Watch" feature first :-)
11:30 AM - So, what exactly are the internal polls saying? Last night Ralph Bristol, on WORD 1330 AM, seemed pretty confident about his predictions for today's election. He based his choices on internal polls of which he had been "made aware."
Rumor has it that Kevin Geddings is excited about the prospects for the gubernatorial race. The word is that he is giving up on Patterson, but some of the others have the Dems' pulses picking up.
Then again, how much of it is fodder for the rumor mill? I'm glad to put rumors out there as long as everyone understands it is just that - a rumor.
10:45 AM - Charleston's WTMA has reported medium to heavy turn-out in some precincts...
One report from Edisto Island says that in a rural corner of Charleston County where rarely you will see more than one or two others voting at the same time, but today there were a dozen people early when the doors opened.
10:00 AM - Reports still pour in. In the Upstate precincts the reports are that voting is still steady. However, heavier rain is beginning to move into Greenville. The question then becomes was the early voting an attempt to beat the rain? Will voting activity alter due to the rain? We're counting on you to let us know how things are going out there!
9:20 AM - Several people have asked that the link to the Greenville County Endorsement list be reactivated. If you want to see it, click here.
9:04 AM - Spun around to check out several precincts. Turn out appeared to be pretty good. For what it is worth, I saw predominantly elderly folks voting.
Radio WORD 1330 AM reports that turn out is heavy in Greenville County. Still, we don't know to what that heavy turnout is leading.
Reports are also being aired that ballots arrived over an hour late at one precinct. A poll worker left the ballots at their home.
8:25 AM - I seem to recall Palmetto Journal (under the old ownership) chastising The Common Voice for allowing someone to post an the text of an article on the site. Low and behold, right on the front page of the site is an image from The Weather Channel (www.weather.com). Unless something has changed with the TWC acceptable use policy, I don't think that is allowed.
Regardless, it is pretty drippy out there and PJ does put a good question on the table. How will the weather affect the polls today? Something to keep an eye on.
6:45 AM - Not many political stories appeared in the online editions of the major state papers.
Time to clear the tallies in the Candidate at the Top feature. Here were the final percentages (undecided votes not listed):
- Alex Sanders 44%
- Victor Kocher 28%
- Lindsey Graham 26%
- Mark Sanford 51%
- Jim Hodges 48%
Superintendent of Education
- Inez Tenenbaum 39%
- Dan Hiltgen 36%
- Marva Manigault 24%
- Al Hafer 1%
Mark Sanford lead all points with a 36 point lead over second place Hodges. There was more activity in the superintendent race than there was in the U.S. Senate race.