Mark Sanford appears to be cruising to a surprisingly comfortable victory Tuesday night, 54% to Elizabeth Colbert Busch's 46% with 71% of precincts reporting. If his projected victory holds up, it will mark a dramatic political comeback.
The disgraced former governor was heavily outspent, hammered by outside groups on personal missteps and ethics violations. The National Republican Committee washed its hands of him after a trespassing charge by his ex-wife Jenny Sanford. Well behind in the polls only a week ago, the former Congressman recommited to his signature retail politics. Campaigning tirelessly, he emphasized the national debt and Tea Party principles, noting that he held them for many decades.
Tonight, it seems to have paid off. He returns to Washington engaged to his former mistress with a new lease on public life. However long it lasts, he presently stands as a figurehead in the movement to shrink government.