Cable News Covers South Carolina Congressional Race

By Alex Weprin 

Believe it or not there was a Congressional race last night. The race–largely inconsequential in terms of affecting legislation–nonetheless became national news, as the Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, is the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert, while the Republican candidate was disgraced former Governor Mark Sanford.

It was a close race, but Sanford topped Colbert Busch to take the seat.

According to TVEyes CNN projected the race for Sanford at 8:31, MSNBC called it for Sanford┬áciting the AP at 8:35, while Fox News cited the AP right at 9 PM, as “Hannity” began. Update: FNC did note the victory in a ticker text update at 8:39, citing the AP.

“Hannity” didn’t dwell on the race until midway through the show (when Karl Rove appeared to talk about), only saying at the top that Sanford “easily” topped Colbert, adding later on that she might have had a shot if not for her “goofy, liberal” brother. MSNBC announced the news by referring to Sanford as “scandal-plagued,” and that Colbert Busch faced an “uphill climb” against the former Governor.

Anderson Cooper ended up correcting something he said when he first announced Sanford’s win:

“Earlier I said he resigned as Governor after news broke of his extramarital affair,” Cooper said. “I want to correct that, he did serve out his term.”

Based on the TVEyes search, it looks as though MSNBC spent by far the most time covering the race last night, with more segments than CNN and Fox News combined. CNN and FNC spent much more time covering the Cleveland kidnapping case.

As for Stephen Colbert: his show taped before the results were in, and he is yet to tweet about the election.