GOP hangs on to South Carolina House seat

GOP hangs on to South Carolina House seat
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Republican Ralph Norman is projected to win the South Carolina House special election, keeping the seat in Republican hands.

The Associated Press projected that Norman, a former state lawmaker, will win against Democrat Archie Parnell, according to The Associated Press.

Republicans were not expected to have a problem holding the seat. But while Parnell is projected to lose, he appears to have pulled it much closer than experts had predicted.

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There has been little attention paid to the race by either side since the more contested Georgia special election runoff is occurring on the same day. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sunk just $275,000 in the district, compared to the $5 million it spent in Georgia.

In 2016, then-Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R) won the seat by 19 points. President Trump's decision to tap Mulvaney to head the Office of Management and Budget opened the seat for the special election.

Democrats had hoped that Trump's low favorable ratings and opposition to the GOP's plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare could put the race into play.

Norman held less than a 3-point advantage when the AP called the race. That's a far closer margin than the November results, which will boost some Democratic hopes. But yet another close failure in a special election is likely to frustrate the party and could perhaps spark questions about why the national party didn't devote more time and resources to the race.