1986 South Carolina gubernatorial election

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South Carolina gubernatorial election, 1986

← 1982 November 4, 1986 1990 →
  Campbell, Carroll (cropped).jpg No image.svg
Nominee Carroll A. Campbell Jr. Michael R. Daniel
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 384,565 361,328
Percentage 51.0% 47.9%

Governor before election

Richard Riley

Elected Governor

Carroll A. Campbell Jr.

The 1986 South Carolina gubernatorial election was held on November 4, 1986 to select the governor of the state of South Carolina. Carroll A. Campbell, Jr., a Republican representative of the 4th congressional district, narrowly defeated Democrat Michael R. Daniel to become the 112th governor of South Carolina and only the second Republican governor since Reconstruction.

Democratic primary[edit]

The South Carolina Democratic Party held their primary for governor on June 10. Michael R. Daniel was declared the official candidate for the Democrats despite not obtaining 50% of the vote because second-place finisher, Winthrop University president Philip Lader, declined a runoff election.[1]

Democratic Primary
Candidate Votes %
Michael R. Daniel 156,077 47.4
Philip Lader 86,136 26.1
Frank Eppes 59,125 17.9
Hugh Leatherman 28,158 8.5

Republican primary[edit]

Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. faced no opposition from South Carolina Republicans and avoided a primary election.

General election[edit]

The general election was held on November 4, 1986 and Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. was elected as the next governor of South Carolina in the closest election percentage wise since the disputed election of 1876. Turnout was higher than the previous gubernatorial election because of the increasingly competitive nature of the race between the two parties.

South Carolina Gubernatorial Election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Carroll A. Campbell, Jr. 384,565 51.0 +20.8
Democratic Michael R. Daniel 361,328 47.9 -21.9
Libertarian William Griffin 4,211 0.6 +0.6
American Millard Smith 3,304 0.4 +0.4
No party Write-Ins 341 0.1 +0.1
Majority 23,237 3.1 -36.5
Turnout 753,749 57.8 +3.2
Republican gain from Democratic
1986 South Carolina gubernatorial election map, by percentile by county.
  65+% won by Campbell
  60%-64% won by Campbell
  55%-59% won by Campbell
  50%-54% won by Campbell
  50%-54% won by Daniel
  55%-59% won by Daniel
  60%-64% won by Daniel
  65+% won by Daniel

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Runoff Rules It's Time To Change Them". The Charlotte Observer. 22 June 1986. p. ED.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
South Carolina gubernatorial elections Succeeded by