I really didn’t expect former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford to win his bid for a seat in congress, but he not only won, he won convincingly:
‘Excuse me, do you know what’s going on here that it’s so crowded?”
I’m walking through a Publix parking lot in Mount Pleasant, S.C., to the Liberty Tap Room, and it’s 7:55 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7 — Election Day in the state’s first congressional district. A middle-aged woman is leaning out of her Suburban, frowning in the direction of the bar, trying to ascertain the reason for the plethora of TV news trucks and camera equipment.
“It’s Mark Sanford’s victory party,” I tell her.
She gapes at me, confused.
“Did he win?”
Less than an hour later, the AP declares that the answer to that question is yes — and not just a yes, but a definite yes, by nine points, despite being outspent 4–1 and abandoned for all practical purposes by the national fundraising arm of his party. There will be lots of analysis in the days to come about what this election means, but one thing isn’t up for debate: Mark Sanford knows how to campaign, and his win here is due at least in part to his tireless canvassing and cheerful willingness to ask for the vote of anyone who would listen to him.