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National Press: ‘Democrats Have Reason to be Optimistic’ in South Carolina Gov Race

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Today, the Washington Post’s The Fix highlighted Democrats’ growing chances in the South Carolina gubernatorial election. The Post pointed to the strength of Democratic nominee James Smith and the impact of the divisive Republican runoff, which concludes today. NBC News’ First Read also projected today that that the race could be “surprisingly competitive” come November.
Read more about the race here or excerpts below:
Washington Post: Could anti-incumbent fever leave an opening for Democrats in Oklahoma and South Carolina governor’s races?

Oklahoma and South Carolina don’t top the list for most competitive gubernatorial races in 2018, but Democrats hope to reach for both governor’s mansions this year anyway — especially if Republicans nominate unpopular incumbent and incumbent-tied candidates Tuesday.
…Voters in both states with elections Tuesday are incredibly unhappy with their current governors. Some of that discontent is personality-driven, such as in South Carolina, where Gov. Henry McMaster (R) is having trouble unpinning the label his opponents slapped on him as a corrupt insider. His runoff against businessman John Warren on Tuesday is expected to be close, even after Trump goes there Monday night to campaign for McMaster.
McMaster, having witnessed a few weeks ago how much a tweet from Trump can reverberate in his state, personally lobbied for Trump to come campaign for him. But people watching that race say some conservative voters have an aversion to McMaster that could make him a weakened general election candidate.
In South Carolina, Democrats nominated a veteran and Purple Heart recipient, state Rep. James Smith, who’s been able to campaign while McMaster has been focused for the past few weeks on his runoff.

NBC News: Here are seven storylines to watch in today’s primaries and runoffs

3. Does McMaster win his runoff in South Carolina? And if so, how competitive could his general election race get?
‘Earlier this month, South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster got forced into a runoff against John Warren after failing to get 50 percent of the vote — McMaster got 42 percent to Warren’s 28 percent. President Trump campaigned on Monday for McMaster, who was one of Trump’s earliest backers in 2016. But if he wins, McMaster could find himself in a surprisingly competitive general-election race against the Democratic nominee, James Smith.