COLUMBIA, SC — When Gov. Peter Shumlin, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, listed the top six Republican governors the group planned to target in 2014 one name did not make the list: S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.
But DGA spokesman Danny Kanner told The State newspaper that beating Haley is “a top priority” for the DGA in 2014. He said the context for Shumlin’s comments were states with Republican governors that Democratic President Barack Obama won in the 2012 election.
“Nikki Haley is so vulnerable and we have a great candidate,” Kanner said. “We’re already involved, already working with the campaign.”
Depsite what Kanner said, Haley campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey said the campaign “appreciate(s) Governor Shumlin’s honesty in pointing out that Nikki Haley is not a top target of the DGA.”
“Their money is far, far better spent elsewhere,” Godfrey said.
The DGA has already put out a poll in the South Carolina governor’s race showing Sheheen trailed Haley by 4 percentage points – a deficit that was within the poll’s margin of error, leading the Sheheen campaign to call the race “a dead heat.” A poll from a Republican pollster released about the same time showed Haley led Sheheen by nine percentage points.
Last month, Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn told a gathering of Orangeburg County Democrats that the poll means the DGA will be heavily involved in the race.
“We are going to have the Democratic Governor’s Association spending big money in this race this year and we are going to win the governorship next year,” Clyburn said.
Reach Beam at (803) 386-7038.