South Carolina Special Election Results: Can Mark Sanford Avoid a Runoff?

Tuesday may not be the last of it. To secure the nomination, any candidate has to get more than 50 percent of the vote to avoid a runoff, but a crowded field of 16 candidates on the Repulican side will make that difficult. 

For the GOP, the expected winner is former governor Mark Sanford, and as of now, he is out in front with 37 percent of the vote (with almost nine percent of precincts reporting). Lawrence Grooms, a Repulican state senator (19 percent) and Curtis Bosic (16 percent), are expectedly siphoning some of his potential support.

The special election is the third step in a game of musical chairs. When former senator Jim DeMint retired to take a position at the Heritage Foundation, Governor Nikki Haley appointed then-representative Tim Scott to the senate, and this special election primary is to fill his seat in the house of representatives.

"[Tim Scott's] shown courage, when he helped us with the fight against the National Labor Relations Board and the unions that tried to take Boeing down.... He has shown it with his fiscal representation, int htat fact that knows the value of a dollar," said Haley.