COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Incumbent Republican Governor Henry McMaster and Democratic challenger former Congressman Joe Cunningham will be trying to earn your vote in the November general election.

Both men won their party’s primaries Tuesday night. During their victory speeches, they laid out their plans if they win the election in November.

We spoke with College of Charleston Political Science Professor and Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences Dr. Gibbs Knotts about the governor’s race and what South Carolinians can expect from the candidates over the next five months.

“Any Republican is probably going to be the favorite in this political environment,” Knotts said. He said the national political context could play a big role in the race.

Dr. Knotts said both men could make an effort to connect with a wider range of voters now with the primary behind them.

“I still believe the better general election strategy is to also try to get those voters in the middle,” Knotts said. “Admittedly, there may not be as many as there were in the past.”

Knotts also said, “Cunningham will try to get some people who voted for Trump to vote for him. And McMaster, he doesn’t need them, but won’t turn away those voters who may vote Democrat from time to time.”

As far as strategy, Knotts said the Cunningham campaign could try to follow the recipe that helped him flip South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District in 2018. “It’s about trying to run that moderate, middle of the road campaign. I’m sure he’ll say, ‘We’re not going to raise your taxes or take your guns away.’ It’s how Southern Democrats have been able to win statewide for a long time,” Knotts said.

According to Knotts, the McMaster campaign could try to link Cunningham to Democrats in DC, especially those who are unpopular among Republican South Carolina voters.

“I’d be surprised. Shocked actually, if Republicans and McMaster didn’t use that tactic during the campaign. It’s been a very effective way for Republicans in the South to nationalize the race.”

Knotts said he’s looking forward to seeing the candidates discuss the issues on the campaign trail and in a debate or two.