Many Republicans are privately concerned about the potential of Democrats to carry the open First Congressional District seat. Without a doubt, such a loss would be a stunning upset, giving Democrats control of one of the longest-held GOP Congressional districts in the South.
In the Carolinas and Georgia, only three Congressional seats have been held by the GOP for longer than SC1: NC9 (Charlotte region) since 1962, SC2 since 1968 and GA6 (Western Atlanta suburbs) since 1978. Since Tommy Hartnett won the seat for the GOP in an open-seat contest in 1980, it's usually been a safe seat, with just one close call in 2008.
While there are concerns about the potential vulnerability of the GOP run-off contenders and the high profile and strong fundraising prowess of the Democratic nominee, Republicans may be overlooking one of the biggest threats to their ability to hold onto this seat:
Already, the knives are coming out across the district and people we've talked with on both sides of the Bostic-Sanford run-off campaign are preparing for a bloody two-week sprint. Some of them may be helping make that race bloody and nasty - which is exactly what Democrats are hoping for.
It's no secret Democrats plan to run largely on the potential negatives of the Republican nominee and there's good reason to do that. In a special election in a GOP-leaning district, Democrats won't have much luck at swinging many voters, but if enough soft Republican voters become cynical enough about their nominee and choose to sit home, the smaller Democratic voter base may be enough to flip the seat.
While some would attempt to downplay such a loss by arguing it would be tough for a Democrat to hold the seat in a general election contest, there are plenty of instances of an incumbent being able to defy the generic partisan trends in their district. Former SC5 Congressman John Spratt held onto a Congressional district which hadn't gone for a Democrat for President since Jimmy Carter, often by comfortable margins, until his luck ran out in the 2010 GOP surge - sixteen years after GOP strategists began targeting the seat.
Pulling an upset with the help of depressed GOP turnout is exactly what Democrats will be hoping for - and you can bet they're counting on Republicans to do much of the heavy lifting for them over the next two weeks by turning their run-off into a brawling battle.
The truth about the Democrat is that she is quite liberal, more than she lets on to voters. If you doubt that, just look at the groups which have aligned to support her campaign.
Issue for issue, the differences between Bostic and Sanford pale in comparison to the differences between either one of them and Ms. Colbert-Busch - and the Blogland hopes both candidates, their campaigns and supporters keep this in mind for the next two weeks.