This was a big race for the Democrat Party. Sensing a chance to pick up a House seat against a flawed GOP candidate, they poured an enormous amount of cash into the race, outspending Sanford by a 5-1 margin and still ended up losing by 9 points. Had the Democrat candidate won, there would have been national repercussions. SC-1 is a red district and hasn’t been represented by a Democrat in nearly 40 years. Thus a Democrat victory would have led to a "the GOP can’t even win in the South" narrative which would feed the Left’s contention that the GOP must moderate their position on taxes and spending or risk extinction. This is nonsense, of course, but enough squishy GOP moderates may well have bought into it to give Obama a much-needed respite from his current spate of legislative defeats. That’s not going to happen now.
To be sure, I’m no fan of Mark Sanford’s and I firmly believe his presence in the House will open the Republicans up to charges of hypocrisy. I wish the Republicans could have found a different candidate. That said, Democrats really thought they had a shot at this seat, but Sanford’s convincing victory should help put to rest any notion of a big Democrat wave coming our way in 2014.