It looks like there's a pretty good chance South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis will be the next House member not to survive his party's primary this year. The 4th District Republican race is likely headed to a runoff with Inglis at 33% trailing challenger Trey Gowdy's 37% standing. David Thomas and Jim Lee are each polling at 9% right now with Christina Jeffrey further back at 5%.
Inglis' problem is the same as what we've seen for many establishment Republicans this year. Voters in his district are not happy with the direction of their party, and they're taking it out on him. 45% of GOP primary voters in the 4th say they don't like where the party is going compared with just 26% who approve of its current course. Gowdy leads Inglis 42-31 with those voters who think the party's going the wrong way, accounting for his entire lead.
The Tea Party movement is also playing a role in Inglis' struggles. The incumbent actually leads 38-33 with the Republican voters who don't consider themselves part of that group. But Gowdy has an even larger 41-31 advantage with the folks who do actively identify as Tea Party members.
Inglis' prospects in a runoff don't seem too good. As a six term member of Congress voters know him and if they're going to vote for him they're probably going to do it Tuesday rather than voting for one of his second tier challengers and then choosing him in the second election. And among those planning to vote for Thomas, Lee, or Jeffrey in the primary just 26% are happy with the current direction of the party. That doesn't bode well for their willingness to pick the incumbent in a runoff.
Tuesday's election will be close and Inglis may still come out on top- he and Gowdy are within the margin of error for first place. But if Inglis can't hit 40% in this election it'll be a challenge for him to hit 50% in the runoff.
Full results here