Here is our year-end wrap up of the 2015 Presidential campaign. The awards include a little bit of everything.
Best Campaign: Donald Trump. Trump’s South Carolina campaign team is unparalleled in the Republican field. His team includes Jeff Tailon, veteran of Nikki Haley and Henry McMaster’s campaigns; Gerri McDaniel, who helped guide Newt Gingrich’s successful SC Campaign in 2012; both a current and former member of the SC State Legislature; Former U.S. Senate Candidate Nancy Mace; and Ed McMullen, an advisor who had been courted by several other campaigns.
Worst Campaign: Chris Christie. Christie’s South Carolina operation is virtually nonexistent, and consists of one paid staffer that his campaign refuses to name.
Best Retail Candidate: Rick Santorum. Senator Santorum (In full disclosure, we have endorsed Santorum) has run a lean South Carolina operation focused on meeting with small groups. Santorum will talk to anyone, anytime, about almost anything, and those who speak with him often leave supporting him. This leads us to give him the Retail Candidate award.
Best Ad: Right to Rise (Pro Jeb Bush) at the Citadel
Worst Ad: Marco Rubio
Biggest Surprise: That I’m writing this on January 1, 2016, and Donald Trump is the Republican frontrunner for President of the United States.
Biggest Disappointment: Scott Walker’s 70 day campaign.
Best SC Political Reporter: Will Whitson, WISTV
Top Kingmaker: Tim Scott. Senator Scott has hosted downhill events with 11 GOP Presidential candidates so far, and is expected to make an endorsement sometime this month. Whomever he endorses will likely carry the State in the primary election.
Happy New Year!