Why did conservatives support Harrell over Norman?

Many fingers are being pointed at the landslide defeat of Ralph Norman in his challenge to sitting House Speaker Bobby Harrell. In losing 112-5, he found few bases of support. Republicans lined up solidly behind Harrell, including many of the more conservative members. Even Republicans on his home county delegation were split, three for Norman (including Norman) and three backing Harrell.

Some conservative activists have been asking what went wrong. We've heard, and examined, two theories about some of the dynamics in the Speaker's race:

Haley vs. Harrell?: The first "conspiracy theory" we've heard was from those who alleged this was a Haley vs. Harrell battle. We've spoken to a number of legislators, as well as a couple of people close to Haley, all of whom have made it clear that Haley was not involved in this race, nor were House members trying to send her any sort of message.

RINO vs. Conservative: While the first theory we heard lacked credibilty, the second theory we heard - that Norman wasn't as conservative as his backers might have believed - had more credibility.

A look at the 2009-2010 scorecard of the Palmetto Family Council's PAC, an influential organization in GOP circles, gave Norman a 50% score. Norman was tied with Rep. Brian White as the lowest-scoring Republican on their scorecard. We've been told these ratings were shared amongst legislators in recent days.

It's no small irony that Carl Gullick, who Norman replaced last year, had an 83% score, in spite of those who argued Gullick was a "RINO".

1 Response to "Why did conservatives support Harrell over Norman?"

  1. west_rhino 18/11/10 10:04
    RE: Haley vs Harrell. Haley's answer to the press that this was a legislative matter and didn't need her input is a contrast to some past nudges by Sanford and countless Democrat governors, based on how PO'ed they were with the House.

    I guess separation of powers is manet to work that way.

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