Welcome everyone. We'll get started in a moment.
Welcome everyone. We'll get started in a moment.
Hey everybody! Let's rock and roll!
Thanks. How does the South Carolina Democratic/Republican electorate compare to Iowa & New Hampshire?
We expect around 650,000 GOP voters. It's about 65% evangelical. The state is fairly equally divided at 1/3 very conservative, 1/3 somewhat conservative, and 1/3 moderate.
On the Democratic Side, South Carolina is much more ethnically diverse than IA and NH. In 2008, 56% of our vote was AF-AM. In addition, we have a much larger retiree and military footprint.
A GOP turnout of 650,000 would be about 50,000 above the 2012 GOP SC turnout, and parallel IA & NH in exceeding turnout from four years earlier. Why will there be more participation this year than in 2012?
More registered voters...plus higher levels of interest equals records. We are seeing social media metrics that are off the charts.
What campaign themes or issues will get more attention or have more resonance in South Carolina than in Iowa or New Hampshire?
Full spectrum conservatives tend to do well in South Carolina. We have a large active duty and retired military population....so appealing to those voters plus social/fiscal conservatives is a winning formula.
SC is the home to an area called the Corridor of Shame... Mostly rural, minority with high unemployment, crumbling schools, little infrastructure, and devoid of much hope. Addressing those issues and inequalities will be key for the Democrats.
Matt, having been in your shoes, not asking you to play pundit, but describe key SCGOP constituencies & coalitions needed for success. Example in IA, Cruz effectively melded diff anti-establishment tribes together (evangel, liberty, tea party, etc).
Thanks Matt- a fellow member of the State Chair club! See my answers to Greg's questions. A winning campaign will build a coalition of voters concerned about economic issues, social issues and national security. It's a tough test for campaigns.
In IA and NH, we saw many more Republican voters showing up the caucus/primary. This is opposite of what happened in 2008, when Dems had bigger primary turnout. Even in SC in'08, 100,000 more turned out for Ds. What happens in SC this time?
We set a record of 603,000 in 2012 with no Democrat contest. I expect 650,000+. People are fired up here....Hillary needs Democrats to turn out. I argue low turnout will help Bernie. His supporters are fired up.
2008 was a very special race ... There was a level of interest and excitement in that race that I don't we will replicate in the near term.
I believe the Republican Party multiplies through division and appreciate that our diverse candidates have grown the base of support for the party. I look forward to positive turnout for the primary.
Grateful that Chairman Moore and Chairman Harrison are hosting this today. South Carolina primaries have such historical significance--looking forward to Feb 20 and Feb 27.
Thanks for being on Congressman!
Thanks for your service.
Matt, Have you been able to learn anything from Iowa and NH that you think will be helpful for predicting what happens in South Carolina?
Expect the unexpected?
How will both of your parties engage women voters in SC before the primary?
In 2008, 61% of SC Dem Primary voters were women. Women were and have been the most reliable vote in the Democratic Party. I expect that trend to remain the same this cycle.
Seems there are 3 pods in SC. Evangelicals - upstate and elsewhere. Traditional Republicans & of course "Green" republicans. (Military) Sen Graham put together a coalition of these groups for his reelect. Do you think the path to a win is same?
Glad you're doing well Scott! I would agree, historically. However, this cycle has defied expectations at every turn. I'm watching the debate Saturday night very closely. It will matter.
Thanks Matt. Doing great. If you had to gauge it objectively which candidates are best positioned to surprise us or which ones are the best organized -objectively respecting your role as Chairman who would you say?
Matt, what factor is Nikki Haley expected to play behind the scenes in the upcoming primary?
She's already had an impact "on the stage." I appreciate Governor Haley charting a positive path forward for the party. Every candidate would love to have her endorsement....and at a minimum will seek her counsel.
Word on the street was that she was set to endorse Rubio and that was quickly yanked after last night's Rubio implosion.
Can SC registered voters declare a party affiliation on primary day? If so, any evidence on the ground of campaigns (say, Trump) targeting Independents or cross-overs?
There's no party registration in SC. Voters can pick one primary or the other, but can't vote in both.
Matt, we have an open primary system so as a voter you can vote in either the Dem or Repub primary. There is no party declaration.
Thanks. So much simpler than our little ol' Caucuses.
Matt, President George W. Bush is on TV in SC and apparently coming to campaign. How much will that matter for Jeb Bush?
It could matter. George W. is well liked in SC. Both he and his father won huge primary victories here in 2000 and 1988, respectively.
How would you compare the level or sophistication of political preparation, candidate visits and other groundwork by the candidates for the 2016 South Carolina primary compared to 2012 (Matt) and 2008 (Jaime)?
Both the Clinton and Sanders campaign have learned a lot from Obama 08. The campaigns are very sophisticated and there are some super operatives on the ground.. Clay Middleton (Clinton) and Christale Spain (Sanders) are two of the best!
I would add however that I don't see the innovation that was present in 2008.
It's very similar on the GOP side. Maybe a few less TV ads and more spending on digital/analytics. Social media strategy is much more advanced this cycle.
President Bush efforts in SC will have a positive impact. To what degree we don't know but he is well liked and military types think highly of him. But SC voters are like NH. They march to their own beat. Just when you think you know..you don't.
We are wrapping up. Thank you all!
Thanks for the discussion. Best of luck, Mr. Chairman!
Thank you both--enjoyed all of the questions and comments.
Joe Wilson makes a smart move !
Thanks to you both
Hey folks! Thanks again for joining us today! I'm looking to see everyone in SC over the next two weeks! Matt ... You ready for a Trump win? ;-)
Feel the Bern, Jaime. Feel the Bern.