The politics of Irmo's Okra Strut - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

The politics of Irmo's Okra Strut

IRMO, SC (WIS)-  It's green, it's slimy and there's a whole festival dedicated to it. The okra strut kicks off Friday, but there's more to it than okra, it also offers a chance to meet candidates vying for your vote.

Elections are just a little over a month away, political expert Dr. Bob Oldendick says the races are very close this year and every public appearance will count over the next few weeks. This year at the Okra Strut, you can expect to see congressional opponents Joe Wilson and Rob Miller waving and shaking hands.

Dr. Oldendick says this race is close and every appearance counts, "You can't let your opponent do it and then you not do it. You can't lose that potential advantage in that race," said Oldendick.

Dr. Oldendick says you can bet candidates in other hot races will be making appearances at community events leading up to November. One of them getting national attention: the congressional race between incumbent Democrat John Spratt and Republican Mick Mulvaney.

"We've seen national trends are against the incumbent, particularly democratic incumbents and he's (Spratt) facing a really tough opponent. I think Mick Mulvaney will give him a very close race," he continued.

Then there's the Governor's race between Republican Nikki Haley and Democrat Vincent Sheheen. Sheheen came out with a negative ad this week, Haley quickly followed with a negative ad of her own.

Oldendick says with Sheheen being behind in the pulls, he surprised he didn't release one sooner,"Realistically there have been some opportunities that have happened over the past couple months with some with some of the tax problems that Nikki Haley has had, issues with transparency, so when you see those opportunities---this is the time to go negative with ads."

Dr. Oldendick says you can expect to see the candidates making many public appearances over the next few weeks. He says the races are close, but he does have some predictions for the November elections.

Right now, he expects that republicans Nikki Haley and Joe Wilson will win their races. As for that Spratt/Mulvaney race, he says it's way too close to call.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved.

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