Bauer continues to take heat for his January comments comparing impoverished public schoolchildren who receive free lunches to "stray animals." He's also faced questions about his driving record, including an incident in which he was caught going more than 100 miles per hour in a state vehicle but not given a ticket.
The winner of Tuesday's GOP gubernatorial primary will face the victor of the Democratic ballot, which could be Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who's ahead of his two closest challengers by more than 10 points in several polls.
"If Vincent Sheheen can use a lot of money to get his name recognition up, he will really seem as a young, fresh face," said Huffmon. And since "the Republican brand will have the taint of scandal, the race for November will be more competitive than people think it is."