House Outlook for 2008
Will the GOP Swing the Pendulum Back?
South Carolina (01)
Outlook: Likely Republican
First-time political candidate Linda Ketner is trying to do what no one has done in a long time – paint this Republican stronghold Blue. She is running against a formidable opponent in four-term Republican incumbent Henry E. Brown Jr. in this coastal district.
Ketner, a businesswoman whose father founded the Food Lion grocery store, is doing well financially. She reported raising $1.6 million through Sept. 30, almost doubling the $861,000 Brown raised by the same date. She may also benefit from the appeal of Democratic candidate Barak Obama, who may energize the African-American population which forms a stunning fifth of the district’s electorate.
Nevertheless, Ketner still has quite a steep hill to climb. Brown has won all of his previous contests comfortably, by over 70 percent in 2002 and 2004 and by over 20 percent in 2006. President George W. Bush also won the district handily in both the 2000 and 2004 elections by comfortable margins of more than 20 percent. And Republicans have represented the state for almost 30 years running. So, while she does hold a cash advantage, Ketner may need something much more special to break this solid trend.