Howdy, Y'all! This week we're going South of the border, deep into Trump country and taking a look at South Carolina's 4th District!

We generally like to be hopeful, but here's the hot, sweaty reality: this is South Carolina. A Democratic win here is about as statistically probable as a virgin giving birth to a yeti drinking Crystal Pepsi. It sucks to admit that. The Democratic candidates in this deep red district could actually do a lot good if they weren't up against a monsterous number of registered Republicans. However, we live in an age where mathematical improbabilities are the new black, and the blue wave is rising!

South Carolina is a deep red state where local lawmakers are still bitching about "sagging pants." This is an area where the majority of towns measure the population of their residents in the hundreds. A rural area surrounds this mostly suburban-ish district full of middle-aged white people in middle management jobs where they earn middle income salaries. Only about 50% ever bother to vote. Is it any wonder that this is the same mind-numbingly bland district that grew lukewarm half-boners for Trey Gowdy?

“(This place) presumed to be a town then, but was hardly more than a word under a tin roof.” - Beryl Markham

Gowdy spent four years looking for a crime in Benghazi and all he found was his dick in a pile of fundamental religious horseshit half-a-world away, so whichever hypocritical crack pot wins the primary will have a tough job accusing Democrats of crimes Republicans actually commit.

None of the four Democrats running in the race have any prior political experience, a potential benefit considering the Republicans are all active members in state politics. They're simply folks who got sick of being shit on, but they'll still undoubtedly be called socialists, liberal elite, or whatever their insult de jur.

JT Davis is the loveable, yet grumpy old man. A moderate and a vet who was in Benghazi before it was cool, Davis notes that he's alive because Obamacare gave him access to affordable healthcare. Will Morin is the progressive, a former Olympic trainer and EMT, Morin wants to save the planet as much as he wants to save the poors with blue collar jobs and apprenticeships. Chris Chastain is a blue collar electrician who is borrowing from Bernie's playbook and running a low-budget campaign on everything from Citizens United, DACA, to opioids. Lee Turner is the no-nonsense number cruncher calling bullshit on the Trump tax cuts (for the super rich). The only woman in the race, Turner's platform is using mathematics to argue in favor of increasing healthcare, repealing the Trump taxes, and reducing higher education costs.

Of the six Republicans trying to replace Gowdy, they all fall into two categories, "Good Old Boys," and Pastor Mark Burns. Most are state and local politicians who've never faced a serious challenge; they've run unopposed in almost every general election. Since these are all hardcore conservatives, these men (and they're all men) would like nothing more than to replace the Vagenda with a King James Bible. One is pissed off at light bulbs, while the likely front runner wants to bring back the electric chair. And lest we forget the AM radio host and Fox News pundit, Josh Kimbrell, who's only claim to faim is being accused of molesting his infant son.

Then there's Pastor Mark Burns. A Trump surrogate with a seat on Trump's Faith Advisory Council, Burns has his own church where he gives barn burning sermons on cable access. Burns is a TV talking head but rarely strays from conservative safe spaces, that's because he's regularly called out for being a race-baiting grifter and charlatan who falsified a military service record and his educational background. Burns is a familiar face around Mar-a-Lago; he's been courting Trump donors for months in an attempt to fund his next idiotic scam.

Burns was even criticized earlier this week by the Greenville County GOP chair, Nate Leupp, who pointed out that Burns has never voted for a local South Carolina Republican and doesn't even live in the district. Burns replied by boasting about an endorsement from Hungarian neo-Nazi Sebastian Gorka.

It's a statistical longshot for Democrats in this district, but it's not a lost cause. The primaries aren't until June, and the Republicans are already starting to eat each other alive. It's not often that you get some scrappy underdogs who throw their hat into the ring because they've just thrown a chair across the room. Yes, the numbers are bad, but they're only bad if they're written off before the battle begins.  Send some of these nice folks money, and help them fight the good fight!

[JT Davis / Lee Turner / Will Morin / Chris Chastain]

[US Census / 538/ Statistical Atlas / South Carolina Secretary of State / Ballotpedia / Greenville News / Goupstate / CNN / MSNBC / Post and Courier]

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Dominic Gwinn

Dominic is a broke journalist in Chicago. You can find him in a dirty bar talking to weirdos, or in a gutter taking photos.


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