Voters weigh in on 1st District election

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) With just hours before polls open in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, possible voters weighed in on what they thought of the candidates.

Some were solidly behind their candidate while others hoped for a different choice that did not appear in this election. And there were some who did not know there was an election at all.

"I think this is going to be a tight race," said voter, Cheryl Taylor.

And one that could be anyone's game -- a thought that worries some Republican voters. The seat that had been Tim Scott's has not been filled by a Democrat in more than 30 years.

"You better make sure you get up in the morning and vote and not take it for granted that Mark Sanford is going to win because he's had this experience and has had this position before," said Taylor.

Others, like Lance Howard, welcome a new face along with new ideas.

"Mark Sanford has done a decent job. I think he's done his time. Now it's time for new blood," said Howard.

Even though polls open Tuesday morning, some voters still remain torn over the choices.

"Despite all the drama that's gone on with (Sanford), I think he would do better for our state from a business standpoint," said voter Hannah Riley. "Although, I agree more with Colbert Busch's policy."

In one corner, two prominent candidates -- some argue that Elizabeth Colbert Busch lacks political experience. Others argue that Mark Sanford comes with too much baggage.

"That's one thing that's going to hurt him," said Howard.

Taylor believes Sanford's admission to an extramarital affair while in office shouldn't matter when it comes to doing the job.

"His past history should be his history," said Taylor.

"Because Sanford paid this ethics fine and because it happened while in office, Colbert Busch has done her best to connect some of his personal issues to also his public position, and if that position sticks with voters it's going to be a difficult day for Sanford," said political analyst Gibbs Knotts.

Knotts says Tuesday could lead to a political shakeup.

"Your die-hard conservative, super-far-on-the-right Republicans are probably going to vote for Sanford. I can't see them pulling the lever for Elizabeth Colbert Busch but it's those moderate Republicans, if you will, how are they going to vote?" said Knotts.

The latest poll shows the two candidates in a close race to the finish with Sanford leading by one point.

"This race is not one that the folks in Columbia when they were redrawing districts that they expected could go to the Democrats, but Colbert Busch she's run a really smart campaign," said Knotts. "Sanford has come into the race with some issues and the trespassing allegations certainly didn't help him. It's made it a lot more competitive than it probably should have been."