South Carolina GOP claims victory; Dems recalibrating while undergoing voter protection effort

South Carolina party chairs weigh on election outcome

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) - The day after the 2020 election, not all results are able to be reported, but there’s enough to give a picture of what the elected leadership looks like in South Carolina.

After a high profile race with a record-breaking expense, the state and country learned that incumbent Lindsey Graham would proceed with his fourth term as U.S. Senator after a hard-fought race against Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison.

It’s a historical election - one proceeding through a global pandemic with never-before-seen numbers of absentee voting and issues with receiving said ballots in certain counties in South Carolina.

It’s also one that South Carolina GOP Chair Drew McKissick said answers any questions about the party’s base in the state.

“We had monster turnout. And I attribute that again to good candidates, good message, and a great ground game,” he said Wednesday. "And the Democrats didn’t do the fundamentals, they didn’t have the right candidate, and they definitely didn’t have the right message, and they did not do the ground game - and that cost them dearly at the ballot box.

“We didn’t have the outcome last night that we wanted,” said South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Trav Robertson during a press conference Wednesday. “But I want everybody to listen - that we are in the process of rebuilding the party in this state; we are recalibrating; and we have created the organization by which we are going to continue to build.”

Horry County Democratic Party Chair Don Kohn shared a similar sentiment Wednesday, saying they’re taking a positive view after some of election night’s losses.

“I think we’ve got a good base to start with. What we’ve got to do is just - it’s Politics 101 - register voters, get your message out, get them out to vote,” Kohn said. “And we need to improve in all those areas, and if we do, we’ll see the results.”

Wednesday lent concerns over ballot counting, particularly in Dorchester County, which experienced misprinting errors, and in Richland County, where officials worked to hand-count many ballots.

The SCDP sent out a statement, saying, “Democrats will continue to do the critical work on voter protection, registration, being a voice for the voiceless and will not rest when it comes to electing a newer bluer South.”

Robertson said during the conference that the loss was demoralizing and that they have to go back and figure out what went wrong.

But he also cautioned that several races have yet to be determined, and ballots remain uncounted, saying that after speaking with their attorneys, those ballots could affect the outcome of some federal races.

McKissick said the GOP’s attorneys are on standby as well, but he said he was confident about those ballots being counted as the process moved forward Wednesday.

McKissick said it was the party’s strategy that helped things go right for them.

“I think the ground game is the huge untold story in this cycle. It was so huge all around the state,” McKissick said about the GOP’s outreach. “It paid off in big dividends and has given us a better organization infrastructure going forward.”

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