Sanford seeks out voters on final stretch

By Eric

DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- In just two weeks, the polling firm Public Polling reported Mark Sanford had gained 10 percentage points in the race for South Carolina's first congressional district.

But with a lead no bigger than the margin of error the election is still anyone's to take.

At minimum, Sanford and his staff have been running 16-hour days. Monday's schedule had about a dozen scheduled appearances. He needs the voters' attention and by the looks of the polls, they may be listening.

Sanford appears to edging out Elizabeth Colbert Busch by one percent, according PPP's most recent poll. It's not a huge deal at first glance but the former governor had trailed the Democrat by nine points three weeks earlier.

Monday, at a pizza shop on Daniel Island, Sanford called the numbers encouraging, and as he did he reminded voters who he said is supporting his opponent.

"The amount of money that's come into this race from out of state, the million dollars from (Nancy) Pelosi and associated groups has finally really begun to crystallize in peoples' minds," Sanford said.

The 10-point swing comes a week after the debate. A day after that showdown, analysts praised Colbert Busch for her aggressiveness, and said she was the front runner.

"It was surprising and it just shows to the extent that Governor Sanford's baggage has had an impact on this race," said Washington D.C.-based Politico reporter, Alex Isenstadt.

Down the final stretch now, and as he went Monday, Sanford mentioned Pelosi repeatedly. There was no cardboard cut out in sight, but Sanford said he was sticking to his same strategy.

"Go out, talk about ideas we believe in, talk about ways they'd impact peoples' lives and livelihoods here in the first district," Sanford said.

And in his words, despite the millions of backing spent to smear him, it's not what the voters want to hear.

"It's not the subject of conversation when I talk to regular folks," said Sanford. "The subject of conversation when I talk to regular folks is, 'What are you going to do that's going to affect my pocket book or my wallet?'"

And that will be the hope for Sanford Tuesday that the conservatives of the district side with his conservative record.