The Associated Press and CNN have both called the special election for South Carolina's first congressional district for Mark Sanford, the once-disgraced former governor who's proven that even redemption has partisan leanings. With 74 percent of the counties reporting, Sanford held a comfortable lead over Democratic challenger Elizabeth Colbert Busch having won 54.3 percent of the vote, nearly ten points more than Colbert Busch. If you have any jokes about redemption, come backs or Anthony Weiner's political future, now is the time to make them.
This outcome was not a complete surprise. On Sunday, as the final poll results were being analyzed it was clear that Sanford had gained a slight edge over his challenger, who's enjoyed ample funding and generous media coverage thanks, in part, to her famous brother Stephen. Nevertheless, Sanford's shown once again what a gifted campaigner he is by overcoming not only the adultery scandal — you know, the one where Sanford disappeared and his office said he was hiking the Appalachian trail when he was really visiting his mistress in Argentina — but also a more recent series of trespassing accusations from his ex-wife. Others would argue that raw partisanship pulled through in the end.
Regardless of whom you were rooting for, it's a pretty incredible story. There are a million interpretations and conclusions that pundits will hammer out in the days to come, but for now, one things is glaringly clear. To channel BuzzFeed Kate Nocera, who was tweeting from the Sanford campaign party on Tuesday night: The Mark Sanford comeback is now complete. Or, to quote the Sanford himself, "A good part of life is about getting back up — not how you stumble, not how you fall but how you get back up."