Did Sheheen really score a knockout last night?

That’s what Sheheen’s campaign claimed this morning. At the same time, they released the results of a new Crantford poll showing Vincent well within the 3.8 percent margin of error, right on Nikki Haley’s heels:

New PollIf you were able to watch the debate that just ended, it’s clear on who should be your next governor.  Vincent Sheheen scored a decisive victory. He showed that he’s the only candidate that understands the issues and more importantly, the one candidate voters can trust.

The debate is not the only victory for Vincent this week.  A new poll released today shows Vincent Sheheen continues to capture the momentum in South Carolina’s race for governor. The news comes a day after pre-election campaign contribution reports demonstrated Vincent Sheheen raised more contributions than Nikki Haley from South Carolina donors.

South Carolinians are now paying attention to this race. Voters are informing themselves about the candidates, and they are excited about Vincent Sheheen.

The new survey, conducted by Crantford & Associates, shows Haley’s lead has dropped to just two points, 43%-41% with 16% undecided. While Vincent’s support is growing, Haley’s continues to decline drastically.

Well, I missed the debate last night, and all day I’ve been catching flak about that (not “flack,” Kathryn) from people who think Sheheen thumped Haley and want to see me write about it.

I’ve mumbled something about how I advocated for debates for all those people who for whatever reasons had not focused on the candidates’ relative strengths and weaknesses, not for my benefit… which hasn’t gotten me anywhere with anyone.

So now, near the end of the day, I’m finally about to view the debate at the WSPA website. I’ll offer some thoughts when I’m done. But if y’all would like, you can go ahead and weigh in now.

55 thoughts on “Did Sheheen really score a knockout last night?

  1. Brad

    I’m listening to the debate now, and the first thing I’ve heard that sounded like a significant blow from either candidate, knockout or not, came from Sheheen when he corrected Haley on the number of employees in the Dept. of Ed., and explained that half of them keep our rickety, underfunded buses running. And just in case that wasn’t enough, he added the fact that he was the ONLY public school graduate on the stage.

    Brutal. Facts can be SO unfair, can’t they…

  2. Brad

    Smarter, too.

    Now he’s taking her further apart over the buses she wants to privatize, like that would magically accomplish something.

  3. Brad

    Question from Gina.

    Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Gina Smith — who broke the Sanford-in-Argentina story by being in the right place at the right time. Had she not been there, we’d never have known…

  4. Brad

    Just now he pointed out that if she believed the Legislature was going to come back and fix the mess it created with Act 388 (which she voted for and he did not), she is way too gullible to be governor.

    He got a laugh on that one.

    Careful, Vincent. Don’t be too rough on the lady…

  5. Brad

    Now see, I would have a tough time running for governor, because unlike both Sheheen and Haley, I do NOT believe in the death penalty…

  6. Brad

    You know, I hadn’t focused on the fact that one of the many votes Nikki has missed was the Boeing vote. Vincent certainly has made that point strongly now.

    And Nikki, who usually tries to talk right over him when he makes such points, has no answer for that…

  7. Brad

    Vincent just referred to a “bi-state commission” or some such (I can’t seem to back up this video without repeating an entire section). Nikki missed a great chance to say, “South Carolina is NOT a BI- state. We’re butch.”


  8. KP

    Why is it that women are the only ones who have to be careful not to sound “shrill”? How come nobody ever says that about a man?

  9. miller

    Against all odds, 100% of the respondents in Crantford’s poll said they were registered and were going to vote. Neither George Gallup nor Scott Rasmussen nor Winthrop University nor any other legimate pollster would present as valid the results of such a poll.

  10. Brad

    Oh, and before some of y’all jump to say, “Crantford is a Democratic pollster,” let me say, Yep, apparently so.

    In fact, he may be the first person I’ve ever made Facebook friends with (he confirmed me yesterday) who did not have a single “friend” of the opposite party among our “friends in common.” Usually, in this small state, Democrats will have Republican “friends” and vice versa, if only because they want to keep tabs on each other.

    Of course, that doesn’t mean his numbers are wrong. For my part, I don’t know whether they’re right or not. I’m just passing them on.

  11. Herb Brasher

    I missed the debate. The only relatively ‘neutral’ observer that I know said that Haley knocked Sheheen out. So I’m not so sure, but then maybe it depends on who you ask–as usual. Besides, I didn’t have the time to ask this person the reasons for their opinion.

  12. Brad

    She just said it again: “When you’re going through the toughest times, you make the best decisions”! And yet, when she went through tough times, she failed to pay her taxes until she accrued fines for her lateness. Why does she keep saying this? And why does she keep touting her talents as an accountant?

  13. Brad

    Now, he’s got her on the fact that he cut his legislative pay, and she did not. And her response? The kind of class warfare that Republicans usually decry, attempting to make Vincent look bad for being successful in his profession.

    And then Vincent made the point yet AGAIN that she voted to take the stimulus money that she now criticizes him for voting to take. Which is true. (As I recall, she did a John Kerry on that — she voted for it before she voted against it.)

  14. Brad

    Nikki just won’t shut up on her summation, because she’s preprogrammed with that little “I’m a daughter of, etc.” speech I’ve heard over and over.

    Candidates sometimes go over a bit, but that was really blatant…

    By contrast, Vincent — thinking on his feet — said he would follow the rules, and did. And he didn’t sound canned doing it.

  15. Brad

    OK, it’s over.

    Did Vincent score a knockout? I don’t think so. But he accomplished the mission of looking better, and smarter, and more trustworthy than his opponent.

    And one can see why Nikki wanted to keep the debates to a minimum…

  16. Brad

    And dang it, I just realized that I probably won’t see the next debate in real time either, because it’s the same night that I’m moderating a debate between the lieutenant governor candidates.

    At least it will be on ETV, so I can DVR it…

  17. Unfortunate Son

    @Miller – The poll was probably designed to terminate questioning if respondents responded “No” to either questions #1 or #2… which is why the full results show 100% answering in the affirmative.

  18. scout

    I saw the debate and was reading live chat comments on the newschannel’s website as well. My take based on the comments I saw is that for the most part people who already liked Vincent thought he did great and vice versa for Nikki. There were a few comments to the effect of “I’m a republican but I like the democrat better.” The anti-Vincent comments seemed to focus on him “nitpicking” and general anti-trial lawyer sentiment.

  19. Norm Ivey

    I think a lawyer who defends individuals against government overreach is a good thing.

    Haley claimed that South Carolina doesn’t need funds from the federal government.

    About 30% of our state budget funds come from federal sources, and we receive about $1.30 for every $1.00 we pay in federal taxes. Losing those funds would be devastating to our state economy.

  20. Brad

    It’s also, by the way, worth going to The State to read John O’Connor’s story, so you can find out such things as…

    “At one point during the debate, Haley said she did not accept campaign donations from payday lenders while serving on the House Labor, Commerce and Industry subcommittee that regulates the industry. But state campaign finance records show Haley accepted payday-lending donations while serving on LCI in 2007 and 2008.”

  21. Brad

    Oh, and KP, in light of what you said earlier … I guess then that I should be EXTRA insulted that people sometimes call ME “too shrill,” WHICH I’M NOT, SO DON’T LISTEN TO THEM!!!

    When I headed the editorial board, sometimes our tone was described by critics as “shrill.” But maybe they were talking about Cindi, huh?

    You may also note that I said Vincent needed to be careful not to come across as a bully. Each gender has its stereotype to bear, and a candidate wanting to appeal widely to voters needs to be careful not to be categorized accordingly…

  22. j

    “I do NOT believe in the death penalty.”
    Brad, thanks for your consistency. Had asked your view earlier, but I presume you didn’t want to violate your rules that you stated on “The State” blog by responding to my query. Have a good evening.

  23. Doug T

    I thought Sheheen did well, though he may have gotten carried away somewhat. He can’t cross the line of being too assertive with her. When he badgered her about the 10 pct voluntary pay cut, he may have gotten too cute.

    I bet Harpootlian was pleased. Sheheen was no shrinking voilet.

  24. pluvlaw

    I think the post-debate responses from the two campaigns was telling:

    The Haley Camp said: “What you saw tonight was a desperately glib, slippery trial lawyer who is well practiced in attacking opponents, but who offered no plans, no ideas and no vision.”

    The Sheheen Camp said: “Vincent Sheheen scored a decisive victory. He showed that he’s the only candidate that understands the issues and more importantly, the one candidate voters can trust.”

    So Haley’s response to the debate was to double-down on the meaningless label/ad hominem attacks. That pretty much sums up her performance in the debate, as well as her campaign strategy. Buzz words, buzz words and more buzz words. Like Pavlov with his bell, she just keeps throwing out the same tired phrases every other Republican candidate has used for the past 2 decades. Her “movement” has been going on here in SC since the 80s.

    With Sheheen pushing the honesty angle so hard (how many times did he mention “true” or “truth”), Haley set him up for a haymaker in debate #2 with her flat out lie (not a “misstatement”) about taking contributions from the Payday industry.

    I don’t know what debate Katon Dawson was watching, but if that’s his idea of a candidate who is “polished” and keeps “her cool” (as he is quoted in The State’s article), I have to wonder how the hell he ever rose to be chairman of the majority party in SC.

    I mean, did you consider Haley “quick on her feet” or “clever,” as Dawson claims?

    Sorry, I don’t see it. I thought Haley looked like what she is, a candidate that really has no ideas and simply has to spew talking points or a boiled down version of her stump speech.

    Then again, I am convinced this race has been closer than people think for quite a while. I’ve never seen a Democrat get the kind of love I see Sheheen getting from life-long Republicans in the Pee Dee. Whether its attending, HOSTING (very surprising), putting up signs or simply volunteering to you unsolicited that they’re gonna vote for him, the level of support we see around the Pee Dee is downright unprecedented for a Democratic candidate for Governor.

    I am convinced that the polls we were seeing, as recently as a few weeks ago, that show Haley ahead are flawed. I just don’t think people who identify as Republican and plan on voting for mostly Republican candidates are willing to tell a pollster they’re gonna cross over and vote against the party candidate in the top of the ticket race.

    Mark it down, Sheheen by 3…

  25. Ralph Hightower

    Nikki didn’t graduate from Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School? Did she graduate from private school, Andrew Jackson, or Jefferson Davis? Both were segregation acadamies in the 60’s, 70’s.

  26. miller

    Today, 10-21-10, Rasmussen reported the result of its new poll showing Haley up by 9 points. The most recent Winthrop University poll also had Haley up by 9 points. By contrast, Crantford’s polls, showing Haley up by 4 points and now by 2 points, are clearly outliers, meaning they should be approached with intellectual caution.

  27. bud

    Miller, Rasmussen has a bit of a GOP slant during the last few years. Still, I agree that the Crantford poll is not credible. I suspect Haley is ahead by about 6-8 points. Down a bit from earlier polling but still not in danger of losing. I will revise my earlier prediction from a Haley 10 percent win to 7.

  28. Kathryn Braun Fenner (Mrs. Stephen A.)

    “When I headed the editorial board, sometimes our tone was described by critics as “shrill.” But maybe they were talking about Cindi, huh?”

    I know you’re joking, because calling women shrill is sooooo ssxist, and you would want to be sexist, now.

  29. Brad

    Yeah, well… there’s another word that feminists get REALLY mad about when it’s applied to women, and Cindi wore it with honor. It was one of the three words used to describe the unique role she played on the board…

  30. Barry

    Norm- you are correct. Our state couldn’t provide most basic services without federal money. I don’t think most people realize how much federal money is directed at South Carolina EVERY SINGLE YEAR as part of even some of the most basic of state functions. For instance – at my old job at the SC Dept of Labor (LLR now) – about 90% of the money for the voluntary OSHA program (where employers invite OSHA in to work with them without fear of fines) is federal money. That program is very popular with business in South Carolina because there are no fines issued. But it’s federal money. Most people have no idea about that. If they removed their funding, that program would go away (because the state would never pay for it) and the people that would hurt the most are small business folks that don’t have the money to have safety directors and such on staff.

  31. Kathryn Braun Fenner (Mrs. Stephen A.)

    Dunno–I embrace my inner beeyotch, but shrill–

    any derogatory word without a corresponding masculine derogatory term is sexist, though.

  32. Joanne

    Question for all of you: Should a male candidate for ANY office have to be a “gentleman” if running against a woman?

    That is, what are the rules if she chooses to play in the game? And why?

  33. Brad

    Miss Joanne, hold a moment while I pause in pacing my quarterdeck to brace myself against a stay….

    … are you suggesting we should have a man who is not a GENTLEMAN as our governor?

    Next, you’ll suggest we let him command one of the King’s ships. Insupportable.

    What IS this world coming to?

  34. Phillip

    On June 23 in these comments, I said Haley had peaked, Greene would be mostly invisible and thus have little impact on the Governor’s race, which would continue to get tighter and tighter to election day. I predicted that one of the big national political stories on November 3 would not be the media darling Nikki Haley, but the young centrist Democrat who in the middle of a GOP tidal wave sweeping the nation, actually defeated a Sarah Palin-endorsed candidate in a very red state, in a squeaker of an election.

    And I’m sticking with that. Sheheen 50.2%, Haley 49.8%.

  35. scout

    I think any man running for any office should behave as a gentleman whether he’s running against a man or a woman. Basically, he should behave like Atticus. Atticus for Govenor!

  36. bud

    I prefer a pragmatist to ideolog who sticks with obselete conventions. As long as we stick with 19th century customs we’ll have a 19th century state. Time to move on.

  37. Joanne

    @Brad…maybe I am. 🙂 I’m searching for the definition of both “gentleman” as well as “lady” as far as politics goes.

    I know VS to be a gentleman. His mother would be horrified if he wasn’t. Haley has shown me some not-so-ladylike behavior and may have shown a few other things. Why does she get this advantage?

    What does he have to do or how does he have to act because it’s man vs. woman?

  38. Barry

    Doug T

    Maybe The State is “slamming” Haley because they think she deserves it.

    After all, when they do “slam” her they list concrete reasons. You may not agree with their reasons, but they do list a lot of them each time.

  39. Barry

    Who was the guy in the middle asking questions in the debate? Worked for the Gaffney newspaper?

    Nothing personal but I’d like to see someone with a little more experience. He seemed to have a difficult time getting his questions asked and he sounded pretty young. Wish they would have had someone with the Greenville News on the panel instead.

  40. Lynn T

    Orangeburg Prep was initially named Wade Hampton Academy. It did not change to “Orangeburg Preparatory” until 1986. She is now 38 years old, so graduated around 20 years ago. Most of the time that she would have been there, it was Wade Hampton Academy. So, Ralph, yes, Haley went to a seg academy.

  41. Joanne

    @ Barry, I think you are correct.

    @ Scout, I’m re-reading TKAM right now, and you are correct. I want an Atticus.

    And I assure you Vincent is close to one.


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