Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Will Mark Sanford trespass into Congress?

Public Policy Polling did another poll on South Carolina's 1st Congressional District's special election.  Sanford who had previously been the governor of South Carolina before famously "hike the Appalachian Trail", was charged by his ex-wife with trespassing on her property during the Super Bowl.  Sanford took a full page ad in the Charleston's Post & Courier trying to rebut the charges.  He blamed politics in his advertisment questioning why his supposedly sealed court documents came out two weeks before the special election.  After the allegations became public, the National Republican Congressional Committee announced it would not be supporting Sanford's campaign.  Sanford's favorability in the district has fallen to 38/56.  51% of voters say that the trespassing charges gave them doubts about his fitness for a political office.  Not surprisingly, Sanford's rebuttal came off very well with Republicans.  Blaming politics and the liberal media (well, sort of) is very popular.  65% of Republicans say that the trespassing charges give them NO doubt about his fitness in political office.  Even further, Public Policy Polling found that Sanford's favorability among Republicans has improved over the last month from 55/39 to 61/31, now.  Sanford's ex-wife, Jenny, who was once more popular than Sanford for this Congressional election and still is if looking at favorability numbers, has seen her favorability among Republicans decline since the allegations of trespassing have become public.  Last month, her favorability among Republicans was 57/15 and now it is 47/27.  This suggests that Republicans place blame of the trespassing incident on Jenny rather than Mark.  Obviously, there can be other factors involved with her decrease in favorability but Occam's razor would suggest the concept of "blaming the victim." I could write a whole essay on blaming the victim but I wanted to look at the Congressional race.

Sanford is running against Stephen Colbert's sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch.  That's actually her full name, Stephen Colbert's sister, Elizabeth Colbert Busch.  That's how I always see it written or talked about, at least.  Colbert Busch is leading Sanford 50/41 with Green Party candidate Eugene Platt at 3%.  Colbert Busch has strong favorability numbers at 56/31.  This, coupled with her stong head to head numbers suggest she is a strong candidate.  With all the negative news headed in Sanford's direction right now, I feel fairly confident in saying Colbert Busch will win this special election.  It probably won't be as wide as this poll suggests but it should be a victory for the Democrats by a comfortable margin.

Bonus: There might be some backlash towards Republicans because of the background check law vote last week.  86% of voters support background checks while 12% oppose them.  45% of voters said that the GOP's opposition to background checks makes it less likely they'll support the GOP in the next election compared to 21% of voters who said it was a positive thing.  Barack Obama's favorability numbers in the district are only 41/51.  This might suggest trouble in the future for the GOP because of the background checks vote, despite what Nate Silver suggests. I'm not prepared to disagree with Nate Silver, yet.  But as more data comes in, maybe I can challenge his thesis from a recent piece.

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