the 11th hour
October 29, 2018

With the midterm elections just over one week away, the GOP is doing some last-minute ad spending in an attempt to secure a seat that the party previously thought was locked up.

The National Republican Congressional Committee just spent about $100,000 on TV ads to help Katie Arrington defeat Democrat Joe Cunningham in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, Talking Points Memo reported Monday. This seat is currently occupied by Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.), who was defeated by Arrington in his Republican primary.

Sanford's reputation took a hit after he disappeared for six days in 2009 while serving as governor of South Carolina, later admitting he had traveled to Argentina to spend time with his mistress. Sanford, who had been a rising star with presidential ambitions, was censured by state and federal committees. After laying low for a while, he rejoined Congress in 2013, before falling to Arrington by 4 points in June.

A September poll showed Arrington with a seven-point lead over Cunningham, and President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the district by 13 points in 2016, reports The Post and Courier.

But as Talking Points Memo reports, Cunningham has raised about $500,000 more than Arrington and has about $170,000 more in cash on hand right now. CNN reports that the NRCC's new TV ads in the race will air starting on Tuesday. Sanford's seat hasn't been occupied by a Democrat since 1981, but his ouster has some strategists thinking it's finally time — election forecasts indicate that the district is less reliably Republican than it has been in years. "It is a perfect storm and an opportunity for us to pick that seat up," Trav Robertson, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, told HuffPost. Brendan Morrow

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