Watch This Democratic Congressman-Elect Jump for Joy After Pulling Off a Surprise Victory in South Carolina: 'It's Called, Baby!'
While North Carolina—which President Barack Obama won in 2008 but lost in 2012—has evolved into a swing state, its neighbor South Carolina is still widely regarded as a deep red state. South Carolina gave us major Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Gov. Nikki Haley. But while South Carolina is a heavy lift for Democrats, one South Carolina Democrat who is celebrating Wednesday is Joe Cunningham—who can be seen jumping for joy in a short raw video posted online after he learned he had defeated Republican Katie Arrington in South Carolina’s 1st congressional district.
The video captures Cunningham joyously declaring, “It’s called, baby!” right after the Associated Press had declared him the winner. Cunningham can be seen hugging friends like a French soccer fan who just found out that France had scored enough goals to defeat Croatia in the 2018 World Cup—or a Chicago Cubs fan finding out that the Cubs really did win the 2016 World Series.
It was a close race. But about 30 minutes after midnight, Cunningham ascertained that he had pulled off a narrow victory in a district that had been going Republican since the early 1980s.
In the video, one of Cunningham’s friends is heard inquiring about the AP’s declaration and asking, “How did it happen so quickly all of a sudden?” And Cunningham responds, “Beaver County. Beaver County. Their numbers came in.”
The far-right Arrington ran as a hardcore Trumpista, defeating incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford in a GOP congressional primary and lambasting him for not being pro-Trump enough. On June 12, 2018, President Donald Trump endorsed Arrington over Sanford, posting on Twitter, “Mark Sanford has been very unhelpful to me in my campaign to MAGA. He is MIA and nothing but trouble. He is better off in Argentina. I fully endorse Katie Arrington for Congress in SC, a state I love. She is tough on crime and will continue our fight to lower taxes. VOTE Katie!”
After her primary win, Arrington declared, “We are the party of President Donald J. Trump.” But when all was said and done, it was Cunningham who won the general election.
With Cunningham’s victory, South Carolina will have two Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019. Jim Clyburn, who has been South Carolina’s lone Democrat in the House, was reelected.
Although Republicans increased their majority in the U.S. Senate on Election Night, Democrats won a long list of House races and will have a clear House majority next year.
Breaking News: Seconds after Joe Cunningham learned he was Congressman Elect #chsnews #SC01 #scvotes… https://t.co/r2rlBmoRUm— Dean Stephens (@Dean Stephens) 1541579583