The wrinkle: McAuliffe, 57, the governor of Virginia, is calling into the early 2016 presidential primary state to assist gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen’s campaign against Republican Governor Nikki Haley.
Jaime Harrison, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, said he wants McAuliffe to talk about the model he built in the 2013 Virginia election that can be replicated elsewhere.
“Governor McAuliffe ran a textbook ground operation, and he’s created a playbook for South Carolina and the other southern states,” Harrison said.
McAuliffe, who can serve only one term under Virginia law, is close to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and would be expected to help her raise money if she seeks the presidency.
Michael Halle, an adviser to McAuliffe’s Common Ground Virginia political action committee, said “his focus right now truly is 100 percent on the governors’ races.”
Sheheen, a state senator who lost to Haley by about four percentage points in 2010, trailed the Republican governor by 13 percentage points -- 53 percent to 40 percent -- in a Voter Survey Service poll of 1,000 likely voters in July.
When two other candidates, libertarian Steve French and independent Tom Ervin, were included in a test of 650 likely voters in the same poll, Haley led Sheheen by four percentage points, 46 percent to 42 percent.
South Carolina voters approve of the job Haley has done as governor, 48 percent to 41 percent, with 11 percent undecided, according to the poll.
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org Jeanne Cummings, Justin Blum