Live Results: Republican Gov. Henry McMaster faces off against Democrat Joe Cunningham in South Carolina's gubernatorial election

SC Gov race
Jeffrey Collins/AP Photo; Meg Kinnard/AP Photo; Insider
  • Gov. Henry McMaster is running against Democrat Joe Cunningham in South Carolina's gubernatorial race.

  • Trump won the state in the 2020 presidential election by a 12 point margin of victory.

  • The race is one of 36 gubernatorial elections happening across the country.

Polls have closed in South Carolina's gubernatorial election. Republican incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster faces off against Democrat Joe Cunningham.

 

South Carolina's gubernatorial candidates

McMaster was formerly the lieutenant governor of the state but rose to the role of governor after former Gov. Nikki Haley stepped down from her position to join President Donald Trump's administration in 2017. He was elected to his first full term in office in 2018 and is now in the running for a second full term.

As governor, McMaster has vociferously fought against abortion access in the state and, in a recent debate, said he would enforce a ban on same-sex marriage if the Supreme Court were to overturn the precedents set by Obergefell vs. Hodges.

Cunningham is a former one-term member of the US House of Representatives. He lost his seat to Republican Rep. Nancy Mace in the 2020 elections by just over 1 percentage point.

South Carolina's voting history

South Carolina handed Trump a 12 percentage point margin of victory in 2020. The state has sided with Republicans since 1964, except in 1976 when it voted for fellow southerner Jimmy Carter.

What experts say

The race between McMaster and Cunningham is rated as "solid Republican" by Inside Elections, "solid Republican" by The Cook Political Report, and "safe Republican" by Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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