The Republican Party was on the rise in South Carolina and there was a great deal of enthusiasm among its voters. Additionally, the 2nd had long been a Republican stronghold; it had been in GOP hands without interruption since a 1965 special election. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party was clearly on the decline and was expected to fare poorly in the upcoming 2002 elections. Therefore, it was generally understood that Wilson had clinched a seat in Congress with his primary victory.
As expected, Wilson scored a decisive victory in the general election and he was sworn into Congress the very next day.