South Carolina (05)
Outlook: Solid Democratic
November 8, 2006 Update:
Democrat John Spratt won re-election over Republican Ralph Norman.
July 13, 2006 Update:
As it turns out, GOP state Rep. Ralph Norman had his party’s nomination all to himself in South Carolina’s recent primary, but he will face a decidedly uphill battle to dislodge the 5th District’s veteran representative, Democratic Rep. John Spratt. Norman boasted slightly over half of Spratt’s cash-on-hand total as of the end of the first quarter of 2006, but Spratt is no slouch and has a strong reputation for paying attention to local concerns. The Crystal Ball believes Republicans looking for opportunities to pick off the seat of a Democratic incumbent in 2006 can probably find slightly better prospects in Iowa against Rep. Leonard Boswell or in West Virginia against Rep. Alan Mollohan, though this is still a race worth keeping an eye on.
February 2006 Outlook:
Twelve-term Democratic budget expert Rep. John Spratt has been reelected consistently with large margins in this fairly conservative northern South Carolina district. But he certainly has not faced much of a serious Republican challenge for over a decade. GOP State Rep. Ralph Norman is hoping to take Spratt by surprise, and though the challenger mightily outraised the incumbent during the fourth quarter of 2005, Spratt’s popularity in the district will likely carry him to more victories until he retires.