Mark Sanford Loses Nomination Bid

His criticism of President Trump appears to have been a key reason.

Via Time:  Rep. Mark Sanford Loses GOP Primary in South Carolina After Criticizing President Trump

Over more than two decades, South Carolina voters forgave U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford for his quirkiness, his infidelity and his lies. But they could not forgive him for his criticism of President Donald Trump.

Sanford lost his first election ever Tuesday, beaten for the Republican nomination for another term in the coastal 1st District around Charleston by state Rep. Katie Arrington.


Sanford survived that public confession to the affair to win two more terms to the U.S. House. But Arrington made an issue of his criticism of the president, calling him a “Never Trumper.”

One of her ads got personal too, saying “it’s time for Mark Sanford to take a hike — for real this time.”

After declaring victory Tuesday, Arrington asked Republicans to come together. And she reminded them who she thinks leads them: “We are the party of President Donald J. Trump.”

This is not, by the way, surprising.  Trump, as president, is the leader of the Republican Party and GOP candidates run a risk, in a partisan primary, to go against the leader.

I partially note this because it reminded me of attempts last year by some analysts to pretend like this was not the case, such as I discussed in this post from September 2017:  Trump is the Leader of the GOP, not an “Independent”.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. James Pearce says:

    One of her ads got personal too, saying “it’s time for Mark Sanford to take a hike — for real this time.”

    While I think his never-Trumpism may have been a factor, maybe SC is just be sick of this dude.

  2. CSK says:

    It’s truly hilarious that Trump criticized Sanford for having an extramarital affair.

  3. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    He went to South America(Not only Buenos Aires) to visit his mistress, wasting taxpayer money and time on that. I wonder why these people kept reelecting him, not that they finally booted him from office.

  4. Bob@Youngstown says:

    Took note that Trump waited till late in the day to indicate his preference, shortly after exit polling showed that Sanford would likely lose.
    Convenient timing.

  5. CSK says:

    Bob@Youngstown: Good catch. Trump is claiming on Twitter that his advisors told him not to get involved in the primary, since Sanford was supposed to be a shoo-in, but he felt he had to “give it a shot.” So, of course, Katie won because of his last-minute boost.

  6. Not the IT Dept. says:

    From what I remember of the great hiking episode, I actually got the feeling he’d be happier being defeated so he could go off and become a gaucho or something.