After narrowly losing his re-election bid by just 5,415 votes last fall, this week former Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham announced he is running for South Carolina governor in 2022. It won’t be an easy feat in the least — the last time the Palmetto State elected a Democratic governor was 1998, and the last time a Democrat won statewide was 2006.

But as Cunningham said in his announcement video, he’s been told before that the odds weren’t in his favor. His 2018 victory was one of the biggest upsets on Election Night, winning the Charleston-based 1st District, which Donald Trump had won by 13 points in 2016. In 2020, Trump captured it by just 6 points, but the fact that Cunningham only lost to Republican Nancy Mace by 1 point shows there were plenty of Trump-Cunningham voters. He could have chosen to run again against Mace, but the 1st CD likely to get even redder in redistricting, taking a shot statewide could be the better opportunity for Cunningham — but still a very difficult one.

More from the Cook Political Report

GOP won the votes, but not the seats
National Politics
Photo of Charlie Cook