Experts notice change in Myrtle Beach voting demographic


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The race for the mayor’s office in Myrtle Beach isn’t over yet.

Since neither candidate had more than 50 percent of the total vote, there will be a runoff between John Rhodes and Brenda Bethune on Nov. 21.

“The votes that were split across the three candidates that didn’t make the runoff – who are they going to vote for now? Are they going to go for the familiar John Rhodes? Or will they cast their luck with Brenda Bethune?” said WMBF political analyst Holley Tankersley.

She said candidates have a little bit of an advantage in a runoff.

“In a runoff, it’s somewhat of a luxury,” Tankersley said. “You get a chance to kind of know exactly where you need to go to get votes.”

One of those places for both candidates is The Market Common.

“About a quarter of the votes that were cast were cast by residents who live in Market Common. So will the candidates remaining now kind of focus some of their attention there because that’s a relatively new demographic shift in Myrtle Beach?” Tankersley said.

Out of the 5,791 total votes cast in the city on Tuesday, 1,170 came from The Market Common. According to statistics from the city of Myrtle Beach, only 274 votes were cast in that same location in 2009.

“The population has boomed so much in that area. That’s a new thing that’s different from past elections because you have a lot of people who live there and live there full time,” said Tankersley.

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