Republican Bob Inglis is a pol in peril. As of this writing, it appears likely that he will lose his seat in South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District. In a crowded field of challengers–now with 83 percent of precincts reporting–he has only 26.2 percent of the vote compared with the leader, Spartanburg County Solicitor Trey Gowdy, who has 42.5 percent. That means the race is headed for a June 22 runoff because in South Carolina, candidates need to top 50 percent to win outright. It is difficult to imagine how Inglis will recover from a 16-point deficit heading into a runoff.
Gowdy has run a conservative, anti-establishment campaign against Inglis.
Inglis is just the latest incumbent Member of Congress to have trouble getting his party’s nomination. He joins Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT), Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), Rep. Parker Griffith (R-AL), and Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV). Despite the relative rarity, the fact that incumbent members of Congress are losing their seats in primaries this cycle should not come as a surprise; the national mood is very anti-Washington at this moment. According to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, only 29 percent of voters are inclined to support their House member. That is a historically low number.