Last night we had the Republican runoff for South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District. This was a special election triggered when Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R) resigned to take an appointment leading the OMB.
As the seat has a distinct GOP tilt, most of the competition was on that side. The primary was very close, but State Rep. Tommy Pope finished narrowly ahead of fellow State Rep. Ralph Norman:
For the runoff, things were again very competitive. Going into last night, there was no clear favorite. Pope, the State House Speaker Pro Tempore, had more establishment backing with Norman framed himself as more an outsider, and did a significant amount of self funding.
The result, again, was very close, but this time Norman came out on top:
In the State House, both candidates represented adjacent districts, each in York County. Pope’s district, HD 47, is the more rural central part of the county, while Norman’s, HD48, is based around Tega Cay. Here’s a close-up of how their districts voted last night:
In the primary, both Pope and Norman won their districts by almost exactly the same margin:
One problem for Pope, though, was that his district cast fewer votes, about 3250 compared to 4350 for Norman. Last night, it was about the same story. Pope won his district by a wider percentage margin, but it cast about 1,200 fewer votes than Norman’s:
As the primary was very competitive, we were looking at were the areas that didn’t support Pope or Norman went. Looking at the first map in this post, this would be the orange and purple precincts. The third place finisher, Tom Mullikin, who’s base was in Kershaw County, stayed neutral. The fourth place finisher, Tom Connelly, endorsed Norman.
Here’s a map of how the precincts that didn’t originally support Norman or Pope in the primary voted last night:
Norman carried these precincts with 57.7% to Pope’s 42.3%, winning the base areas of both Connelly and Mullikin. Pope actually won the rest of the district (the grey areas in this map), but by a more narrow 3% margin. 80% of the district’s votes actually came from the grey areas that Pope won, but Norman did a much better job of bringing over new voters elsewhere in the district.
The general election is June 20th (the same day as GA-06). Norman will be running against Democrat Archie Parnell. Given the lean of the district, it gave Trump 57%, Norman is favored.