South Carolina's legislature has a senate with 46 members and a house of representatives with 124 members. The state sends two senators and seven representatives to the U.S. Congress and has nine electoral votes. In the early 1970s the state's 1895 constitution was extensively revised. The executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term. From 1876 to 1975 all the state's governors were Democrats, and South Carolina was part of the "Solid South." Since then Republicans have come to dominate statewide politics. David Beasley, a Republican, won the governorship in 1994 but was defeated in 1998 by Jim Hodges, a Democrat. In 2002, Hodges lost his own reelection bid to Republican Mark Sanford; Sanford was reelected in 2006. Republican Nikki Haley was elected governor in 2010; she is the first woman to hold the office.
Among South Carolina's institutions of higher education are The Citadel–The Military College of South Carolina and the College of Charleston, at Charleston; Clemson Univ., at Clemson; Furman Univ., at Greenville; South Carolina State College, at Orangeburg; and the Univ. of South Carolina, at Columbia.