The Alvin Greene Story: No One Heard Of Vic Rawl, Either

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June 14, 2010 8:34 a.m.
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Alvin Greene, as you probably know, didn’t do any campaigning before getting nearly 60% of the vote in the South Carolina Democratic primary for Senate. He didn’t have yard signs or a web site, and he didn’t attend the state party’s big political events, including the convention and the Galivants Ferry Stump.

His opponent, Vic Rawl, did campaign, and now he’s alleging possible wrongdoing in the primary and protesting the results.

But something that’s been all but ignored over the past week is the fact that, for all his campaigning, Rawl had no more name recognition than Greene.In a PPP poll (PDF) taken in late May, a few weeks before the primary, only 5% of voters overall — and 4% of Democrats — said they had a favorable opinion of Rawl.

“We could make up just about any name and ask their favorability on a poll and get 4% so that more or less amounts to zero name recognition,” Tom Jensen of PPP said in a blog post after the primary. In the poll, Rawl’s unfavorable rating was triple that of his favorable, at 14%, and a whopping 82% of voters had no opinion at all. PPP didn’t poll on Greene.

Rawl’s campaign spokesman says Rawl attended 80 events in 20 counties and traveled 17,000 miles to get his name out.

Asked why the campaign didn’t seem to resonate with voters, his spokesman, Walter Ludwig, told TPM, “It remains to be seen what happened on election day.”

Rawl announced today that he is officially protesting the primary results, alleging “strange circumstances” on primary day and “irregularities” in the results, partially blaming South Carolina’s voting machines.

But when it comes to name recognition, Rawl is no Jim DeMint. Yes, he has political experience, but it’s apparently not the kind that makes a big impression on voters.

Rawl’s stint as a state legislator was in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a circuit court judge from 1991 to 2003, according to his web site. In 2008 came out of retirement to serve on the Charleston City Council, where his biggest claim to fame is, again according to his own web site, voting “to install solar panels on the Charleston County Jail to reduce energy costs.”

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