South Carolina gubernatorial election, 2014

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South Carolina Gubernatorial Election

Primary Date:
June 10, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Nikki Haley Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Nikki Haley Republican Party
SCNikkiHaileyPicture.png

South Carolina State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
GovernorLt. GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney General
Down Ballot
Treasurer, Comptroller, Auditor, Superintendent of Education, Commissioner of Agriculture, Adjutant General

Current trifecta for Republicans
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State executive offices in South Carolina
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The South Carolina gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Nikki Haley (R) ran for re-election against Vincent Sheheen (D), Steve French (L) and United Citizens Party candidate Morgan Reeves. Haley won election to another four-year term in office.[1]

The race between Haley and Sheheen was a rematch of the 2010 gubernatorial election, which ended with a five-point victory for Haley. Learn more about recent gubernatorial elections in South Carolina by jumping to the past elections section. The polls section linked here details trends in polling for this race, which showed a consistent lead for Haley through early October. Sheheen and the third-party candidates in the election were trying to counter those polls with strong performances in the debates in October.

South Carolina is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[2][3][4]

Candidates

General election

Republican Party Nikki Haley - IncumbentGreen check mark transparent.png[5][6]
Democratic Party Vincent Sheheen - State Senator[7]
Libertarian Party Steve French[8]
Independent Morgan Reeves - United Citizens Party candidate[7]

Withdrawn

Libertarian Party Ralph Allen Beach[9][7]
Independent Tom Ervin[7][10]

Declined

Republican Party Alan Wilson - Attorney General of South Carolina[5]
Republican Party Tom Davis - State Senator
Republican Party Bobby Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives[5]
Republican Party Glenn McConnell - Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina[11]
Republican Party Mick Mulvaney - U.S. Representative[5]
Republican Party Tim Scott - U.S. Senator[5]

Results

General election

Governor of South Carolina, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngNikki Haley Incumbent 55.9% 696,645
     Democratic Vincent Sheheen 41.4% 516,166
     Libertarian Steve French 1.2% 15,438
     Independent Tom Ervin 0.9% 11,496
     United Citizens Morgan Reeves 0.5% 5,622
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.1% 934
Total Votes 1,246,301
Election Results via South Carolina State Election Commission.

Race background

Independent candidate's withdrawal and endorsement for Sheheen

Tom Ervin's rollercoaster gubernatorial campaign came to an end on October 28, 2014, when he dropped out of the race and endorsed Vincent Sheheen (D). Ervin started the campaign as a Republican primary challenger to Nikki Haley but dropped out prior to the primary election. He later petitioned to run as an independent candidate and loaned his campaign $3.4 million prior to his withdrawal. In a joint press conference with Sheheen, Ervin stated, "As a Republican, I have to put my state first. It was a difficult decision to me, because I was in it to win it."[12] Ervin spoke about the need for change in the governor's office as a reason for supporting Sheheen.[13]

Potential primary challengers for Haley

Republican state treasurer Curtis Loftis, Jr. considered challenging Haley for the party's nomination, but announced on January 25, 2013 that he would seek re-election to his current post as treasurer.[1] Without Loftis, the list of potential Republican primary candidates was still long, and included two fellow officials from the executive branch: Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell and Attorney General Alan Wilson. In the end, Haley was unopposed in the Republican primary.

Debates

October 14 debate

Charleston State University hosted a debate featuring all five candidates for governor, though Nikki Haley (R) and Vincent Sheheen (D) trained their attention against each other on the issue of ethics. Sheheen struck at Haley for past accusations of illegal lobbying during her time as a state legislator, arguing that the state would never be led in the right direction with Haley in office. Haley responded that she was cleared of charges twice by the state House in 2012 and Sheheen voted against a proposed ethics reform law twice over the past two years. Sheheen claimed that the Republican-supported reform would not go far enough to deal with lobbying concerns.[14]

The three third-party candidates on stage brought unique perspectives to the debate with their stances on marijuana legalization and job creation. Independent candidate Tom Ervin argued against legalization of marijuana, suggesting that medical evidence showed lowered intelligence from habitual use. United Citizens Party candidate Morgan Reeves countered Ervin's points by stating that marijuana first existed in the "imagination of God" and could produce tax revenue for the state. Libertarian Party candidate Steve French opposed increasing the state's minimum wage and compared jobs to sex by saying, "You shouldn't brag about it if you have to pay for it." On the issue of jobs, Haley pointed to a previous announcement that 57,000 jobs would be created throughout the state and Sheheen suggested that only half of those jobs have been created in her first term.[14]


Polls

Governor of South Carolina
Poll Nikki Haley (R) Vincent Sheheen (D)Other/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Clarity Campaign Labs Poll
October 15-16, 2013
44%40%16%+/-3.53760
Conservative Intel Poll
October 27-28, 2013
48%39%13%+/-3.77676
Susquehanna Polling and Research
July 22, 2014
46%42%12%+/-41,000
Palmetto Politics Poll
July 7-13, 2014
53%40%7%+/-3.11,000
YouGov
July 5-24, 2014
55%38%7%+/-01,186
Rasmussen Reports
August 25-26, 2014
51%36%13%+/-4750
New York Times/CBS/YouGov
August 18-September 2, 2014
56%35%9%+/-5833
New York Times/CBS/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
53%36%11%+/-22,663
New York Times/CBS/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
50%33%17%+/-41,566
AVERAGES 50.67% 37.67% 11.67% +/-3.27 1,159.33
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Note: An asterisk (*) denotes incumbent status.

Campaign media

Nikki Haley


Nikki Haley ad: A Job

Vincent Sheheen


Vincent Sheheen ad: Protect

Ad spending

The Wesleyan Media Project published a report on September 30, 2014, highlighting spending on gubernatorial races from September 12-25. This report found that Democratic and Republican groups spent a total of $46.84 million on TV ads in 15 states with gubernatorial elections. The following chart details the group's findings including spending amounts and number of ads:[15]

Note: A bolded number indicates the highest total for this category. A number in italics is the lowest total for this category.

Spending on TV ads, September 12-25, 2014
State Total # of ads  % Democratic-leaning ads  % GOP-leaning ads Total spending-Democratic leaning (in millions of $) Total spending-GOP leaning (in millions of $)
Colorado 2,460 83.1 16.9 1.35 0.39
Connecticut 2,312 61.7 38.3 1.48 0.89
Florida 20,111 38.5 61.5 4.07 6.64
Georgia 4,625 51.1 48.9 1.43 0.99
Illinois 7,793 63.5 36.5 4.17 3.5
Iowa 2,134 47.5 52.5 0.25 0.38
Kansas 5,024 45.7 54.3 0.85 1.17
Maine 3,281 42.3 57.7 0.46 0.32
Michigan 6,767 33.9 66.1 1.14 2.3
Minnesota 1,974 83.9 16.1 0.65 0.29
New York 4,926 61 39 2.18 0.88
Pennsylvania 3,263 50.9 49.1 1.58 1.23
South Carolina 2,883 39.1 60.9 0.33 0.38
Texas 10,330 33.4 66.6 2.24 2.93
Wisconsin 7,374 63.3 36.7 1.36 1.01
TOTALS 85,257 48.2 51.8 23.54 23.3

Past elections

2010

South Carolina Governor, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngNikki Haley 51.4% 690,525
     Democratic Vincent A. Sheheen 46.9% 630,534
     Green Morgan Bruce Reeves 1.5% 20,114
     Write-In Various 0.2% 3,025
Total Votes 1,344,198
Election Results Via: South Carolina Election Commission

2006

South Carolina Governor, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMark Sanford Incumbent 55.1% 601,868
     Democratic Tommy Moore 44.8% 489,076
     Independent Write-in 0.1% 1,012
Total Votes 1,091,956
Election Results Via: South Carolina Election Commission

2002

South Carolina Governor, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMark Sanford 52.8% 585,422
     Democratic Jim Hodges 47% 521,140
     Independent Write-in 0.1% 1,163
Total Votes 1,107,725
Election Results Via: South Carolina Election Commission

Voter turnout

Political scientist Michael McDonald's United States Elections Project studied voter turnout in the 2014 election by looking at the percentage of eligible voters who headed to the polls. McDonald used voting-eligible population (VEP), or the number of eligible voters independent of their current registration status, to calculate turnout rates in each state on November 4. He also incorporated ballots cast for the highest office in each state into his calculation. He estimated that 82,596,338 ballots were cast in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 36.4 percent of the VEP.[16] By comparison, 61.6 percent of VEP voted in the 2008 presidential election and 58.2 percent of VEP voted in the 2012 presidential election.[17]

Quick facts

  • According to PBS Newshour, voter turnout in the 2014 midterms was the lowest since the 1942 midterms, which took place during the nation's involvement in World War II.[18]
  • Forty-three states and the District of Columbia failed to surpass 50 percent turnout in McDonald's analysis.
  • The three states with the lowest turnout according to McDonald's analysis were Indiana (28 percent), Texas (28.5 percent) and Utah (28.8 percent).
  • Maine (59.3 percent), Wisconsin (56.9 percent) and Alaska (55.3 percent) were the three states with the highest turnout.
  • There were only 12 states that increased voter turnout in 2014 compared to the 2010 midterm elections.[19]
Voter turnout rates, 2014
State Total votes for top office  % voter eligible population Top statewide office up for election Size of lead (Raw votes) Size of lead (%)
Alabama 1,200,000 33.5 Governor 320,319 27.2
Alaska 290,000 55.3 Governor 4,004 1.6
Arizona 1,550,000 34.4 Governor 143,951 12.5
Arkansas 875,000 41.2 Governor 118,664 14
California 7,750,000 31.8 Governor 1,065,748 17.8
Colorado 2,025,000 53.0 Governor 50,395 2.4
Connecticut 1,089,880 42.3 Governor 26,603 2.5
Delaware 234,038 34.4 Attorney general 31,155 13.6
District of Columbia 150,000 30.3 Mayor 27,934 19
Florida 5,951,561 42.7 Governor 66,127 1.1
Georgia 2,575,000 38.2 Governor 202,685 8
Hawaii 366,125 36.2 Governor 45,323 12.4
Idaho 440,000 39.1 Governor 65,852 14.9
Illinois 3,550,000 39.5 Governor 171,900 4.9
Indiana 1,350,000 28.0 Secretary of state 234,978 17.8
Iowa 1,150,000 50.6 Governor 245,548 21.8
Kansas 875,000 42.8 Governor 33,052 3.9
Kentucky 1,440,000 44.2 U.S. Senate 222,096 15.5
Louisiana 1,472,039 43.8 U.S. Senate 16,401 1.1
Maine 625,000 59.3 Governor 29,820 4.9
Maryland 1,750,000 41.9 Governor 88,648 6.1
Massachusetts 2,150,000 43.9 Governor 40,361 1.9
Michigan 3,151,835 42.7 Governor 129,547 4.3
Minnesota 2,025,000 51.3 Governor 109,776 5.6
Mississippi 650,000 29.7 U.S. Senate 141,234 33
Missouri 1,450,000 32.3 Auditor 684,074 53.6
Montana 365,000 46.1 U.S. Senate 65,262 17.9
Nebraska 550,000 41.3 Governor 97,678 18.7
Nevada 600,000 31.8 Governor 255,793 46.7
New Hampshire 500,000 48.8 Governor 24,924 5.2
New Jersey 1,825,000 30.4 N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico 550,000 38.3 Governor 73,868 14.6
New York 3,900,000 28.8 Governor 476,252 13.4
North Carolina 2,900,000 40.7 U.S. Senate 48,511 1.7
North Dakota 248,670 43.8 U.S. House At-large seat 42,214 17.1
Ohio 3,150,000 36.2 Governor 933,235 30.9
Oklahoma 825,000 29.8 Governor 122,060 14.7
Oregon 1,500,000 52 Governor 59,029 4.5
Pennsylvania 3,500,000 36.1 Governor 339,261 9.8
Rhode Island 325,000 41.7 Governor 14,346 4.5
South Carolina 1,246,301 34.8 Governor 179,089 14.6
South Dakota 279,412 44.5 Governor 124,865 45.1
Tennessee 1,400,000 29.1 Governor 642,214 47.5
Texas 4,750,000 28.5 Governor 957,973 20.4
Utah 550,000 28.8 Attorney general 173,819 35.2
Vermont 193,087 38.8 Governor 2,095 1.1
Virginia 2,200,000 36.7 U.S. Senate 16,727 0.8
Washington 2,050,000 41.6 N/A N/A N/A
West Virginia 460,000 31.8 U.S. Senate 124,667 27.6
Wisconsin 2,425,000 56.9 Governor 137,607 5.7
Wyoming 168,390 38.7 Governor 52,703 33.6
United States 82,596,338 36.4

Note: Information from the United States Elections Project was last updated on November 19, 2014. The results in this table draw from unofficial results as of November 12, 2014.

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
March 30, 2014 Primary and convention filing deadline[20]
June 10, 2014 Primary election
August 15, 2014 Filing deadline for petition and nonpartisan candidates
November 4, 2014 General election
January 14, 2015 Inauguration for state executives

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "South + Carolina + Governor + elections"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

South Carolina Gubernatorial Election News Feed

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See also

External links

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Suggest a link

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 WPDE News, "SC State Treasurer won't run for governor," accessed January 25, 2013
  2. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  3. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  4. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013, through January 3, 2014, researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Lexington County Chronicle and The Dispatch-News, "Will Governor Haley survive 2014 gubernatorial race?" August 16, 2012
  6. The Associated Press via MyrtleBeachOnline, "Gov Haley names co-chairs for possible run in 2014," February 19, 2013
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 South Carolina Election Commission, "Candidate Tracking," March 31, 2014
  8. The State, "Libertarian joins SC governor’s race," March 17, 2014
  9. Facebook, "Ralph Allen Beach for Governor Of South Carolina in 2014," accessed September 3, 2013
  10. Island Packet, "Tom Ervin jumps out of GOP governor’s race," April 11, 2014
  11. Charleston City Paper, "Will lenn McConnell go after Nikki Haley's job?" March 28, 2012
  12. Daily Journal, "Independent candidate Tom Ervin ends campaign, endorses Vincent Sheheen in SC governor's race," October 28, 2014
  13. WYFF 4, "Tom Ervin, Vincent Sheheen make surprise announcement," October 28, 2014
  14. 14.0 14.1 The State, "2014 ELECTIONS: Gloves off for Haley, Sheheen in SC governor’s debate," October 14, 2014
  15. Wesleyan Media Project, "GOP Groups Keeping Senate Contests Close," September 30, 2014
  16. United States Elections Project, "2014 November General Election Turnout Rates," November 7, 2014
  17. TIME, "Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low," November 10, 2014
  18. PBS, "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years," November 10, 2014
  19. U.S. News & World Report, "Midterm Turnout Down in 2014," November 5, 2014
  20. Souith Carolina Election Commission, "2014 Election Calendar," January 8, 2014