Mark Sanford, famous for not hiking on the Appalachian Trail, is polling behind Elizabeth Colbert Busch, famous for being the sister of a guy who lampoons conservatives, in the race for South Carolina's conservative first congressional district. According to Public Policy Polling, which is run by people with Democratic views, Colbert Busch, who is running as a Democrat, is just ahead of Sanford, a Republican, by a margin of 47 percent to 45 percent in their poll of likely voters.
While that is within the poll's 2.9 percent margin of error, it's still a surprising result because Charleston-area district has been a safe Republican district. Republicans have held the seat since 1981. President Obama is seen favorably by 41 percent of voters there -- and unfavorably by 57 percent. Republican Tim Scott was reelected in the district by 62 percent to 35 percent in 2012 (He The seat is open after Gov. Nikki Haley appointed him to fill Jim DeMint's Senate seat). Redistricting that will be in effect for the May 7 election made the seat no less safe for Republicans, according Roll Call's Joshua Miller.
So Colbert Busch remains the underdog. But the poll shows how unpopular Sanford remains, perhaps because of the spectacular way in which he revealed he was having an affair with an Argentinian lady who was not his wife. Sanford is likely to win a runoff to be the Republican nominee -- he's polling 53 percent to Curtis Bostic's 43 percent. PPP finds 58 percent of voters see Sanford unfavorably, while 34 percent see him favorably. Compare that to Colbert Busch, who's seen favorably by 45 percent of voters and unfavorably by 31 percent. But even Stephen Colbert's approval rating is higher than Sanford's at 36 percent.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.