Colbert to Sanders: Eat boiled peanuts

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (left) appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Wednesday.

Fresh from his New Hampshire primary win, Democrat Bernie Sanders went on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” last week where the Charleston-bred funnyman gave him some quick advice on how to win the South Carolina primary.

“To get the vote down there, you have to eat boiled peanuts,” Colbert said. “And you have that with a nice beer. Do you want a beer?”

Sanders, who is trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton by double digits in the Palmetto State, played along. He quickly took a gulp from a bottle of suds supplied by the late-night host.

“And this wins in South Carolina?” Sanders said.

“Yes, it does,” Colbert said. “If you like boiled peanuts, it’ll certainly give you a leg up in South Carolina.”

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford says he’s “conflicted” about who to endorse for president.

“I genuinely don’t know,” the Mount Pleasant Republican said last week. “I want to see how the race unfolds.”

Sanford said he relates to Donald Trump as an outsider. “I very much empathize with him in terms of coming into a political system from the outside ... and harnessing frustrations with the inside of the tent.”

At the same time, Sanford conceded he’s hearing concerns from constituents, operatives and elected officials about what impact a Trump endorsement would have on the rest of the race.

“What you do hear in conservative circles is, South Carolina is going to be the last line of defense in stopping Trump. You win one primary, you win another, you pick up more and more momentum and people become harder to stop,” Sanford said. “There are some concerns given the uncertainty that surrounds Trump and how he might vote within conservative circles.”

Sanford is also intrigued by “the conservative credentials of (Ted) Cruz,” and “the community ability that someone like (Marco) Rubio has.”

Sanford isn’t alone in not announcing a pick. State Rep. Jenny Horne, R-Summerville, his only challenger in the GOP primary, isn’t making her pick public either.

Dimitri Cherny, the Democrat in the 1st District race, backs Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Two Citadel graduates are holding key positions in the campaigns of the front-runners in South Carolina.

Democrat Hillary Clinton’s South Carolina campaign manager is Clay Middleton, Citadel Class of 2003. Meanwhile, Nancy Mace, Citadel Class of 2000, is the South Carolina coalitions director for Donald Trump.

We can’t think of another instance when two former presidents have been in South Carolina in so narrow a space of time, just 48 hours.

Former President Bill Clinton was scheduled to be in Florence on Saturday night stumping for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, at Francis Marion University.

Less than 48 hours later, on Monday evening at 6 p.m., former President George W. Bush will be joining brother Jeb Bush for a rally at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.

That means presidents No. 42 and No. 43 are in South Carolina trying to influence who becomes No. 45.

The biggest TV ad buyer in South Carolina so far this season has been the Jeb Bush Super PAC, Right to Rise, which has spent more than $10.3 million in the Palmetto State, according to data from SMG Delta analyzed by NBC News.

Next is the $9.4 million spent by Marco Rubio’s campaign and other outside support groups.

The figures were released last week, even before the New Hampshire polls had closed. The numbers could jump significantly as the campaigns jockey for the last available segments of TV time.

On the Democratic side, the analysis showed Bernie Sanders’ campaign has spent close $750,000 in ads in South Carolina, while Hillary Clinton trailed with $440,000 spent.

All the Republicans will holding events this week. But in the immediate future, two candidates are campaigning in the Charleston area on Monday.

At 6 p.m. former President George W. Bush will be at a Jeb Bush for president rally at The North Charleston Performing Arts Center.

Donald Trump will be at the East Cooper Republican Club Lunch scheduled for noon.

Reporters Schuyler Kropf and Emma Dumain contributed to this report.