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Palmetto Sunrise: GOP candidates return to South Carolina

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Palmetto Sunrise: GOP candidates return to South Carolina

Multiple GOP presidential candidates are in town this week, including Republican frontrunner Donald Trump who will be in Anderson this evening. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

COLUMBIA – Democratic presidential hopefuls got the laughs over the weekend as Republican contenders gear up for a return to the Palmetto State this week.

It’s been more than two weeks since a Republican presidential candidate has visited the state and more than a month since Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders made a sweep through Columbia, Florence and Rock Hill.

Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul and reason the Democratic debate was not a “very exciting debate” kicks off the week with a visit to the Anderson Civic Center this evening.

The Republican front runner enjoys a dominant lead in the state, polling more than double that of Dr. Ben Carson’s 18 percent, in a recent CNN poll. Nationwide, those numbers tighten to an average of 23.8 percent for Trump and 21.3 percent for Carson.

Last time Trump was in the state he wasn’t too happy with AP photographer Mic Smith’s photo of a half empty (half full?) ballroom in North Charleston. Trump went as far as to call Smith a “f*****g thief” over the photo.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is planned to attend a fundraiser Wednesday evening at the home of Ransey and Mary Wells Bowers in Columbia, on Thursday he’ll make two appearances, in Greenville and Gaffney, before participating in the Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security national security forum in Greenville on Friday at Greenville Technical College, Barton Campus.

Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina on Friday will hold town halls at USC Beaufort and in Hilton Head at Magnolia Hall.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will be in West Columbia on Friday and on Saturday in Greenville where he’ll participate in a town hall event at TD Convention Center.

Fellow Floridian, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, will be in South Carolina Saturday to participate in Sen. Tim Scott’s Presidential Town Hall being held in James Island.

No Democrats are scheduled to visit the state before their Nov. 6 forum at Winthrop University in Rock Hill. So if you didn’t catch the Saturday Night Live version of the first Democratic debate (see Larry David’s impersonation of Sanders) check it out--along with some real news below, this morning.

Sen. Tim Scott gets first Senate bill passed (The Post and Courier)

Democratic debate jokes aside, Vice President Joe Biden still hasn’t decided on whether he’ll enter the race (The New York Times)

Anderson prepares for The Donald, expects big turnout (Independent Mail)

Post-debate, Hillary remains on top (CNN)

A difficult legislative session looms in South Carolina (The Post and Courier)

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Ebola crisis drove local health safety improvements (The Post and Courier)

The inside story of Trump campaign’s connections to a big-money super PAC (The Washington Post)

Immigration policy worth the debate (The Post and Courier)

DHEC issues emergency orders for 63 dams statewide (South Carolina Radio Network)

Lessons from Hurricane Floyd prepared Grand Strand for recent storm (Sun News)

Rep. Trey Gowdy tells other Republicans to shut up over Benghazi panel (CNN)

After Charleston shooting, varying shades of recovery at Charleston church (The State)

Funding and infrastructure are current concerns for Savannah River Site officials (Aiken Standard)

Thursday: Gowdy vs. Clinton (POLITICO)

Biggest advertisers have little to show in polls so far (Bloomberg)

Juan Williams: GOP right acts like its own party (The Hill)

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