MAULDIN, S.C. -- He is a teacher first and a candidate second in his bid for Senate in South Carolina.
Greg Snoad, known as "Coach" around Mauldin High School, says he's always been the kind of social studies teacher who "does government" and campaigning as a write-in candidate in the race between Sen. Jim DeMint (R) and Alvin Greene (D) seemed to him like as good an opportunity as any.
"It's purely symbolic," Snoad insists. "The outcome of this is determined. So your choice is to vote for somebody you know is going to win or support somebody who you know is going to lose. I think a better use of your vote is to support my idea of civil discourse and building consensus and let’s get things done."
Snoad says supporters of DeMint should vote for DeMint, but he says he personally doesn't support his politics right now. He also does not think he can support surprise challenger Alvin Greene, though he is careful to speak positively about the candidate.
"We were just chatting back and forth and [friends] said, 'Who are you going to vote for?' and I go, 'I think I am going to write myself in. I want to vote.' And then, I got a bunch of responses, 'Well, I’ll do that. Well, I’ll do that. Well, I’ll do that.'"
The one-time town councilman from Gray Court is hesitant to play the role of spoiler, but adamant he cannot mathematically impact the outcome of the race. DeMint is now poised to win by more than 40 percentage points. "I can’t even respond to the question because its not mathematically possible," he said, "I think in a lot of ways a vote for me is a more serious use of your vote."
His campaign so far has been purely launched through Twitter (@snoadforsenate) and Facebook, where he maintains both a personal and a "Snoad for Senate" page. He plans to continue campaigning only through the internet, in part as an experiment to prove its value in politics.
Snoad says he's been surprised by how quickly his message spread online, and in traditional media too.
"I’ll be honest. When I first started, I thought I might get a 100 votes, and maybe a couple of lesson plans out of it," he said.
He believes he may be able to leverage the support he's amassed for some political power in the future.
"If you will search for consensus and political debate, then we might be able to deliver you some support through this social network," he suggested.
He is considering writing a blog or a book on his experience, and of course, a lesson plan too.