Days after a new poll showed Democrat Joe Cunningham trailing Republican state Rep. Katie Arrington in the race to replace Rep. Mark Sanford in Congress, the Charleston lawyer is on TV with his first ad today.

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In a 30-second biographical ad to be released today, Cunningham will appear on cable and broadcast TV across the 1st District, the campaign says.

Cunningham opens: “Do you start your day nervous to look at the news?”

Go on…

Biographical ads like these are meant to introduce the candidate and lay out basic campaign bullet points. In his, Cunningham mentions that “both parties need new leadership” — he was among the first candidates to say he would not vote to re-elect Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker.

The district, which has been represented by Republicans since the early 1980s, runs mostly along the coast from Georgetown to Hilton Head Island. Without a strong Democratic challenger in 2016, Sanford mustered 58 percent of the vote in his last bid for re-election alongside the presidential ticket. He lost the Republican primary over the summer, defeated by Republican state Rep. Katie Arrington, who has made stalwart support of President Donald Trump a key part of her campaign. Arrington has represented S.C. District 94 (Charleston and Dorchester) in the state House since Jan. 2017; she is a defense contractor by trade.

A new poll commissioned by the group End Citizens United, which has endorsed Cunningham, showed Arrington leading by seven points. The poll, which was released on Tuesday, was conducted by Public Policy Polling.


While Arrington maintains a lead in the Republican district, watchers of the midterm elections have indicated they see the race tightening. Cook Political Report, which runs ongoing national election analysis, recently shifted the race toward Cunningham, from ‘Likely’ to ‘Lean Republican’ in their ratings.

Voters will head to the polls on Tues. Nov. 6 to vote for state and federal offices, including governor and Congress. Democratic candidate for governor, state Rep. James Smith also recently went up on TV, so look for more political commercials coming to a TV near you.