Democratic officials are expecting record voter turnout for today’s South Carolina primary because of sunny skies and appealing candidates, the State says. But make no mistake: Dems don’t expect to win the Palmetto State come November. No Democrat has won a Southern state since Bill Clinton in 1996, although party officials hope this year’s race spurs people to the polls and makes the general election more competitive.
“The excitement has been a huge gain for the party,” said Joe Werner, the Dem’s SC chief. Republicans, meanwhile, saw turnout fall about 22% in last week’s primary compared to 2000. The GOP’s SC chairman explained, “The intensity was not here.” It’s a trend Dems hope to exploit: “We’re a little ways away from becoming a blue state,” Werner predicted. (Read more South Carolina primary stories.)