With Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, will South Carolina runoffs make history?
Nikki Haley, an Indian-American woman, and Tim Scott, a black man, look positioned to win their respective races Tuesday in GOP runoffs in South Carolina. Their rise is a window into a changing state.
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“I think black conservatives are the real deal to conservative voters, because they realize they’ve had to break with their culture and background to come to the positions they have,” says Woodard. “Usually they don’t think they have to worry about them turning into an Arlen Specter. That’s the big fear this year: You elect these Republicans, and they’re not the kind of Republicans you want.”Skip to next paragraph
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Senator Specter of Pennsylvania was a Republican until last year, when he switched parties in a bid to boost his reelection chances. He lost in the Democratic primary.
The rise of Haley and Scott provides a window into a changing South Carolina, as retirees move in from other parts of the country and make for more diversity of views among voters. It’s also true that some South Carolina Republicans didn’t realize that Haley was a minority until a state senator made an off-color ethnic comment about her. But there’s no doubt that the Republican establishment is eager to display as much diversity as the party can muster, with a black Democrat in the White House and minorities in general voting heavily Democratic.
Tuesday’s primaries and runoffs are also expected to continue the trend of harsh treatment toward incumbents connected to Washington. Congressman Barrett appears headed for defeat against Haley, and another South Carolinian, Rep. Bob Inglis (R), is the underdog in the runoff for his congressional seat. In Michigan, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) appears to be losing ground in his race for the Republican nomination for governor against state Attorney General Mike Cox.
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- The rise of the Indian-American candidate, as Nikki Haley and others run
- South Carolina head scratcher: More curiosities in election of Alvin Greene