Football (Election) Night in SC

Contributed by Shell Suber

I don’t like hearing battlefield terminology applied to politics. Nobody is “battling to the end” or “fighting our enemy with all we have.” It’s not a war. If you think it is, just ask someone who has actually been in a war if they think it’s the same thing. Instead, I like using football analogies in politics. They just work better. And fittingly, fall elections and football season coincide quite nicely.

Football scores work particularly well as parallels for election outcomes. For instance, winning by a Field Goal is akin to wining a close one by 3 percentage points (51/52% to 49/48%, more or less.) A touchdown is a comfortable 7 point win (around 53/54 to 47/46). Two TDs is a landslide (or a blowout) and so on.

In red South Carolina, Republicans usually have the home field advantage and are typically favored by a TD. A final score of anything less indicates there is a problem on defense, meaning there is something about the Republican that makes some voters nervous and a few of the more skittish ones jump ship. Anything more than a TD indicates either the Republican has an unusually good offense (is particularly popular) or, more likely these days, the Democrat is completely overmatched, underfunded, or unknown.

Everyone thinks the GOP is looking at a huge season statewide and nationally. Not surprisingly, my Nov. 2 predictions follow that trend. Here is how I set the lines:

  • GOVERNOR: Haley(R) over Sheheen(D) by a FG. Slightly closer than the standard line, but she still wins. Haley’s offense is energetic but prone to turnovers. That being said, Sheheen has shown no ability to capitalize.
  • LT.GOV: Ard(R) over Cooper(D) by the standard TD. No reason to think otherwise.
  • SEC.STATE: Hammond(R-i) over Johnson(D) by a TD or more. A blowout.
  • TREASURER: Loftis(R) wins in a forfeit.
  • ATTY.GEN: Wilson(R-i) over Richardson(D) by a FG. Richardson’s offense (campaign ads) are slightly better than average, but not enough to overcome Wilson’s D. When it comes to “law and order” issues, voters trust GOP candidates more.
  • COMP.GEN: Eckstrom(R-i) over Barber(D) by a FG. Eckstrom was hampered by a few injuries and turnovers but not enough to lose him the game.
  • SUPER.of ED: Zais(R) over Holleman(D) by an Extra Point. This is the closest statewide matchup of the night and the only one where the Democrats actually enjoy a home field advantage, having held the office for so long. Still, I see Zais by a point, maybe in OT.
  • ADJ.GEN: Livingston(R) in another forfeit by the Dems.
  • AG.COMISH: Weathers(R-i) over Elliott(D) by two TDs. Another GOP blowout.
  • U.S.SENATE: DeMint(R-i) over Greene(D) in a slaughter. They probably should call this one at halftime so nobody gets hurt. DeMint won’t event need to send his offense onto the field. (The football analogies go on and on with this one, so I’ll stop now.)
  • 1st CONG.DIST: Scott(R) over Frasier(D) by two TDs. History to be made by Scott who has shown he has all the game needed for the NFL in primary wins over a Thurmond and a Campbell.
  • 2nd CONG.DIST: Wilson(R-i) over Miller(D) by a FG. Call it the “You Lie Bowl.” Wilson’s infamous outburst helped Miller’s offense a ton but it helped Wilson’s defense a ton and a half. It’s going to be like one of those games everyone talks about all season then – when it finally happens – it’s same old same old.
  • 3rd CONG.DIST: Duncan(R) over Dyer(D) by a couple of TDs in a game where home field is everything for the GOP.
  • 4th CONG.DIST: Gowdy(R) over Corden(D). See Duncan v. Dyer then add another FG for good measure.
  • 5th CONG.DIST: Mulvaney(R) over Spratt(D-i) by a FG in “The Game of the Century.” The grizzled veteran vs. the cocky young gun. Think Unitas vs. Namath in Superbowl III. Spratt is past his prime, has bad knees, and playing a game that has passed him by while Broadway Mick is too new to know or care how many young punks the old man has put in the ground of over the years. This is going to be the one we all stay up to watch and will remember where we were when it happened.
  • 6th CONG.DIST: Clyburn(D-i) over Pratt(R) by a TD or two in the only Congressional contest where the Democrats have an insurmountable home field advantage.

So, except for Clyburn, I see a full sweep by the GOP in SC. But in politics as in football, you have to play the game. On Tuesday we’ll lace ‘em up and see what happens.

“Captains, call it in the air…”


8 Comments to “Football (Election) Night in SC”

  1. Nicely done Shell. What I would like to know though is if the GOP has finally gotten the message and is moving away from progressivism? I still feel like I have to hold my nose sometimes when I select GOP on the ballot (with the exception of Demint). I think there is plenty of work still to be done here. I believe there are several opportunists who have ridden the Tea Party wave only to go back to business as usual. I hope I am wrong here but I don’t think so. We shall be watching.

  2. Really liked this piece, not only for its content, but for its creativity. Mr. Merchant would be proud.

  3. Nice job, Shell . . . your keyboard to God’s . . . um . . . eyes. And the voters, too.

  4. Shell,
    I must agree that this is very well written and thought out summary of Tuesday Night Politics, but I think the 6th CONG.DIST: Clyburn over Pratt by a TD or two is to high the, finial will be a TD+ FG, 9 pts. not 12 to 14 points.

  5. I missed a TD on the 6th race!

  6. Yep. 26 points is almost 4 TDs! Hard to beat THAT home field advantage.

  7. Always hard to beat the home team when you play at”Gerryfield”

  8. We should hope to keep the 6th District drawn just like it is or we endanger the 2nd, 5th and 1st Districts. Ask Mulvaney or Wilson if they would like to have seen the 6th redrawn before yesterday’s election. I’ll trade 1 Dem for 3 Reps all day. But if SC gets a new 7th CD as many predict, things will shift in every district and it might not be how we would like.

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