GOP runoff

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday in the 1st congressional district Republican runoff. See Tuesday’s edition for a list of local precincts and polling places and other voter information.

No one is sure if Mark Sanford or Curtis Bostic will win Tuesday’s 1st congressional district GOP runoff, but it is clear that both have reached out to voters in innovative ways.

Their use of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, has been among the most impressive of any Lowcountry candidates to date, said Liz DeLoach, whose Charleston business, Social Strategies, advises on social media.

“For some voters, social media is going to be the way they reach out and touch the candidates,” she said.

Bostic, a former Charleston County councilman, had 7,522 “likes” on his Facebook page and 2,769 Twitter followers as of Sunday afternoon, while former Gov. Sanford had 6,421 Facebook “likes” and 7,875 Twitter followers.

Both have created their own Twitter hashtags: #ImWithMark and #TrustCurtis.

The numbers of people that they’ve interacted with online almost rivals the number who voted for them in the primary.

DeLoach said Bostic’s social media focus likely helped separate him from the crowded GOP field. “I think part of the reason for his coming in second was that some people are more interested in grass roots dialogue than they are in structured events,” she said.

The Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, also has a strong presence, with 3,779 Facebook “likes” as of Sunday afternoon.

She will face the winner of Tuesday’s GOP runoff on May 7.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.