As a result of the puzzling Senate nomination of Democrat Alvin Greene in South Carolina — an unemployed veteran who won his primary despite not spending a dime campaigning— the Green Party candidate in the race says he now has a unique shot to win over Democratic voters.
“I absolutely think I can get the support of disaffected Democrats,” candidate Tom Clements said during an interview with The Daily Caller. He and Greene will face incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint in November.
Dr. Larry Sabato, a professor of political science at The University of Virginia, says the Green Party in South Carolina could very well bring in more votes than the Democratic nominee in this race. “It’s possible,” he wrote on Twitter.
Democrats in the state already appear to be shunning Greene. After his surprising win and the subsequent revelations of a pending felony charge against him for showing pornography to a college female, Greene ignored calls by the South Carolina Democratic Party Executive Committee to withdraw from the contest. Clements says the Greene fiacsco “shifted the dynamics of the whole race.”
“I don’t think that a lot of the Democrats…have any place to go but me,” Clements said. “But will the Democrats formally endorse me? Would they dare endorse a non-Democrat? I don’t know.”
The chairwoman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, Carol Fowler, ruled that out when contacted by The Daily Caller, saying the organization “cannot support the nominee of another party.”
“We still hope Mr. Greene will realize that he should withdraw,” she said, suggesting the Party will instead focus their efforts on the state’s governor’s race this year.
And regardless of whether Clements can attract Democrats to his camp, political observers don’t see him necessarily making a substantial impact on the eventual outcome of the race. As Sabato pointed out Tuesday, DeMint is the heavy favorite in the very-Republican state.
For now, Clements is just trying to get some attention. The press, he said, has barely covered him, just like they failed to report on Greene’s felony charge before he won the Democratic nomination. “It’s just sloppy, sloppy journalism,” he lamented.
Referencing the media firestorm resulting from scandals involving other politicians in the state, Clements half-jokingly said his biggest problem is he’s squeaky-clean. “In South Carolina, the media’s only going to pay attention to me if there’s a scandal,” he said with a laugh. “I just don’t have one.”