Two Takes from Female Voters on Mark Sanford's Infidelity

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 7 2013 1:45 PM

"Frugality Out the Wazoo"

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MT. PLEASANT, S.C.—Elizabeth Colbert Busch votes in safe Republican turf, and that would be fine on its own if the press didn't want to cover this. The head election official at her precinct walked over to me as I joined a throng covering the candidate and informed me, unsmiling-ly, that I needed to check in with him. He made a fitful effort to break up reporters who were standing in the way of voters—"OK, let's go!" After the candidate left, and after departing cameramen stumbled over a VOTE HERE sign, the election official snapped at ECB handlers for not following "the system we keep here." They'd walked in the wrong way.

I noticed this because it was the only rough reception ECB got. Leaving the polls, female voters unanimously told me that they had voted for her. (Other reporters found some older women who'd stuck with Sanford.) Sharron Bohn, a laid-off government employee, said she was for Colbert Busch ever since her name was floated, and it had nothing to do with Sanford's scandal.

"I don't agree with what he did with his personal life, but I don't really care," she shrugged. "It's his politics that worry me—frugality out the wazoo. I've had enough of this politicians who smile at us as they tell us about all the programs they're cutting and defunding."

Anna Gregory, a young sales accountant, voted in workout gear and fretted what her colleagues would say if Sanford won. "A lot of people in our company are based in Connecticut," she said, "and if you just mention the name Sanford, they laugh at us. It's embarrassing that he made it this far! He left his family on Father's Day to be with his mistress."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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