June 28, 2009

Mark Sanford and His Public

While I?ve already posted my own initial reaction to Gov. Mark Sanford?s admission of infidelity, it might be of interest to Takimag readers the reaction of South Carolinians at large.

The three primary reaction categories are:

1. Sanford is a lying scumbag who should resign.

2. Sanford is a good man who made a mistake, but should still resign to heal his marriage.

3. Sanford?s private life has nothing to do with his principles, he should remain in office and still run for president.

In our current WTMA text poll (1250 AM WTMA is the premiere talk radio station in Charleston, SC, where I?m employed) we?re asking ?Should Sanford Resign??

The results as of now: 70% ?No.? 30% ?Yes.? This is by no means scientific, but the phone calls we receive reflect similar results.

I mention this for two reasons. First, we?ve been interviewed by a few national outlets, and one particular interviewer, a Los Angeles morning talk host, kept bringing up red state ?evangelicals? and their attitude toward Sanford?s indiscretions. Yet, amongst Christian conservatives, there?s been a lot more ?let he who is without sin cast the first stone? than outright moral condemnation.

Also, this enduring support (quite surprising, actually) for Sanford is due in large part to the grassroots popularity in this state for his particular Republican brand ? strict fiscal conservatism that is markedly different and more ?extreme? than most other conventional, ?conservative? Republicans.

Even with his admission of infidelity, there is still more rage amongst rank-and-file Republican voters against our big spending, GOP-dominated state legislature than our cheating governor.

It will be interesting to see what developments unfold this week. It will also be interesting to see what the future holds politically for Sanford, who though badly damaged, his career may not be as ?over? as some might think.

And as I?ve noted a few times on the air, Sanford will only be 55 in 2014 – the next time the still, extremely unpopular Sen. Lindsey Graham is up for reelection.

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