South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District is another example of the anti-incumbent mood that has already swept several incumbent Congressmen out of office. The public anger at Washington is now threatening Rep. John Spratt, a powerful Democrat who has spent 28 years in office. Spratt heads the House Budget Committee and has brought millions of dollars worth of earmarks to the district. Despite all this, Spratt is in a tight race with his Republican challenger, state senator Mick Mulvaney. This district is considered a toss-up, with the race a virtual tie at this point.
Mulvaney, running on a platform of limited spending, private enterprise and limited government, has become a favorite of the local Tea Party. Spratt has become a favorite target of local grassroots activists because of his votes for Obamacare, Cap and Trade and the president’s ‘stimulus.’
Unlike other endangered liberal incumbents, Spratt has highlighted the fact that he has brought earmarks to the district. He voted with the Democratic Party 98% of the time, and scored an F on the Liberty Central Scorecard. Spratt’s campaign has also embarrassed itself. His campaign director was recently quoted saying “if Osama bin Laden ran in this district as a Republican, he would get 38 to 40 percent of the vote in any election year.” Spratt and Mulvaney are set for their first debate tonight, but at Spratt’s request, there will be no cameras.