COLUMBIA -- After losing disastrously earlier this month, forfeiting every statewide office and one of only two congressional seats they held, S.C. Democrats are in a death spiral.
People inside and out of Democratic circles are questioning whether Democrats have a future in the Palmetto State. Is there any chance of them winning big races in the future like the governor's office? Is it possible for them to reverse a more than decade-long trend of dwindling power in the State House where Republican majorities rule both the House and Senate?
Short answer: the odds are not good.
An analysis of how South Carolina voted in this month's gubernatorial race and the three previous races show:
S.C. counties where Democrats run strongest have fewer voters and are growing at a slower rate than Republican-leaning counties. And even within those Democratic-leaning counties, Democratic victory margins are narrowing.
Conversely, the state's Republican-leaning counties are increasing the number of voters at a faster clip than their Democratic counterparts. And within those GOP-leaning counties, Republican victory margins are increasing.
Republicans rule the Upstate as well as populous Lexington County in the Midlands. Democrats need to pick up votes along the coast. But an analysis of general election results from 1998 to 2010 shows Democrats are losing ground along the coast, losing Beaufort County every election and Berkeley, Dorchester, Georgetown and Horry counties every election but in 1998, a strange, mash-up election involving a weak Republican incumbent Gov. David Beasley, a popular Democratic push for a state lottery and flush coffers for the Democratic nominee Jim Hodges.
But some say it's too early to sing a dirge for the Democrats.
Read the complete story at thestate.com