The only Democrat statewide office holder (State Superintendent Jim Rex) is mulling a run at the office currently held by Mark Sanford. He's a longshot candidate but it would be interesting to see if South Carolina would abandon their Republican leanings to move Rex into a higher office.
To win the race, Rex will have to overcome a major obstacles. First of all, he only has $9,000 on hand. The South Carolina Republican Party is a powerhouse that will surely have an easy time raising money for their candidate. Fundraising is going to be key for a competitive Rex candidacy. If he can't fundraise, the Governor's Mansion is going to stay with the GOP.
Can the Democrats win it? Maybe. Jim Rex did once get elected by the voters of South Carolina. And of course Mark Sanford isn't helping the state GOP with his recent antics. But Sanford is term-limited so it'll be the job of the state GOP to distance themselves from him.
If Rex wins, it could send a major message nationwide. If South Carolina is willing to put a Democrat in its most powerful position, then the GOP is in major trouble.
(By the way, I'll try to resume my analysis of the U.S. Senate races shortly. I've been really busy lately. Sorry for the delay.)