In his bid to be the next chairman of the Republican National Committee, South Carolina GOP Chair Katon Dawson has often pointed to his success in South Carolina.
“Overall, Republicans won 82.22 percent of the races where a Republican candidate filed for office [in 2008],” says Rob Godfrey, communications director for the South Carolina GOP and Dawson’s spokesman. “That is 2 percent greater than 2004.”
My problem with it is that there are a lot of districts that are heavy Republican and heavy Democrat. Should you really count a race where there is no competition? If you’re going to include a race where you ran unopposed as a “win,” shouldn’t you include the races where you didn’t run a candidate as a “loss.”
We went back and took a quick look at the statewide races (President, Senate, House, Statehouse, Solicitors) in 2008 and 2004 that were actually competitive. In those races, the GOP won roughly 56 percent of the time in 2008 and roughly 61 percent of the time in 2004. If you’re considering where Republicans actually had to work on election day, they did worse in 2008.
There’s also the fact that Republicans lost Charleston County in 2008 (a county that went to Bob Dole for pete’s sake).