Republicans say their victory is part of a ‘red wave’
Endorsements from former President Obama and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn in reliably blue Columbia, South Carolina, were not enough to push the city’s Democratic mayoral candidate over the finish line.
Republican Daniel Rickenmann, a businessman and Columbia city council member, defeated Democrat Tameika Isaac Devine 52% to 48% on Tuesday night in Columbia, which sits in a county that President Biden carried by almost 40 points in 2020.
Obama, according to Washington Free Beacon, released an audio message in support of Devine. The former president carried the city’s county by 29 points in 2008 and 33 points in 2012.
Clyburn, one of the most prominent Democrats in both the South and the Black community, who many believe saved President Biden’s flailing 2020 campaign with his endorsement, also endorsed Devine.
Columbia has been so reliably blue over the last several years that Republicans didn’t put forth a challenger to Rickenmann’s Democratic predecessor, Mayor Stephen Benjamin.
Republicans are likening Rickenmann’s victory to the GOP’s successful push in Virginia weeks ago that elected businessman Glenn Youngkin as the commonwealth’s next governor despite Virginians voting reliably blue for several cycles.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, celebrated Rickenmann’s victory as part of a “red wave.”
Columbia, SC has been led by Dem mayors for 30 years. @JoeBiden won this city by 30 points in 2020 and @BarackObama campaigned for the Democrat.— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) November 17, 2021
But last night, Republican @Rickenmann had a big win. The red wave is coming! https://t.co/F2r11Ky34v
The Democrat losses in South Carolina and Virginia come as Biden’s poll numbers continue to slump and a USA Today/Suffolk University poll earlier this week painted a grim picture of the party’s chances in the 2022 midterms.