There is an unexpectedly competitive House Republican primary election in South Carolina Tuesday, with incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford looking to fend off insurgent conservative challenger Katie Arrington.
Polls close at 7 pm Eastern. Live results are below.
South Carolina’s First Congressional District: Mark Sanford faces an unexpectedly tough Republican primary
The real news is that Rep. Mark Sanford — who was first elected in 2013; you may remember his sex scandal as South Carolina governor — seems to have a legitimate primary challenge. Sanford is actually a comparatively moderate House GOPer and has occasionally criticized Trump. State lawmaker Katie Arrington is running a campaign to his far right, portraying him as, as Politico put it, “a disloyal Never Trumper.”
This race popped up on the radar when Politico reported Sanford was going on TV to attack Arrington, which suggested he felt some heat. He wouldn’t be the first House Republican to struggle in 2018 for being insufficiently loyal to the president.
It would take a major wave for the district to become competitive in November, though Cook rates it as merely Likely Republican, rather than Absolutely Without a Doubt Republican.
Trump’s margin of victory in 2016 was narrower than Mitt Romney’s in 2012, but he still won by 13 points. Cook rates it as an R+10 district. But maybe things could get wild if Sanford fell in Tuesday’s primary. Stay tuned.