Around the South for August 16th: SC, FL, & TN

South Carolina: Clyburn pushes for leadership role.  U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) this week told supporters at the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s annual policy forum that he would work to “transform” the Democratic Party should he be elected Speaker of the House.  The Dems, of course, would first have to take back Congress in November, and then Clyburn would have to win election, but he feels confident in his mission to move up the ranks.  Florida: Republicans outnumber Dems in early voting.  Through August 11th Florida Republicans maintained an advantage in early voting, leading Democrats by a margin of 258,000 to 218,000.  It is not uncommon for the GOP to lead in early voting, but it is a good sign nonetheless for the Right in a state expected to be filled with razor thin margins in November.  Tennessee: Blackburn, Lee up in polls.  Republican candidate for governor Bill Lee and candidate for Senator Marsha Blackburn both lead their Democratic opponents according to polling released this week.  Lee has an 11-point lead (51-40) over Democrat Karl Dean, while Blackburn leads her Democrat challenger, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, 48 percent to 44 percent.