COLUMBIA, SC — On Election Day, Beth Bernstein was the only Democratic candidate in South Carolina to defeat an incumbent Republican, defeating four-term state Rep. Joan Brady with 56 percent of the vote.
But what has state politicos talking is not that Bernstein won, but how she won.
The attorney built her campaign as a race against Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, not Brady. In television advertisements, mail pieces and stump speeches, Bernstein pounded voters again and again with one message: A vote for Brady was a vote for Haley.
Voters responded in a big way.
Bernstein won by 12 percentage points in a race that most political observers predicted would be won by a razor-thin margin. Many gave Brady the advantage as an incumbent running in a presidential election year that favored Republicans in South Carolina.