Winthrop Poll: SC Political Report Card
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley remains vulnerable, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham has seen his GOP support collapse, Barack Obama’s popularity has slipped and everybody hates the U.S. Congress …
Those are the key takeaways from the latest Winthrop University poll, which was released this week.
Haley – who is up for reelection next year – has a job approval rating of 44.1 percent, which is up slightly from her 42.5 percent showing back in February. Meanwhile her disapproval rating was 39.1 percent – which is also up slightly from February’s 38.4 percent reading.
The governor also has an “intensity” problem – as those who have formed strong negative opinions of her outnumber those who have formed strong positive opinions by a 4.4 percent margin.
Democrats wasted little time in pointing out Haley’s vulnerability.
“This makes three polls in one week showing that Nikki Haley’s continued economic failures and incompetence leave her deeply unpopular in South Carolina,” S.C. Democratic Party spokeswoman Kristin Sosanie said. “Under Nikki Haley, median income is falling, South Carolina has been named one of the hardest places to earn a living and achieve the American dream. Millions of families and businesses had their personal information hacked and stolen, then the Governor chose to cover it up for more than two weeks. After three years of being left behind, South Carolina’s families and businesses have had it with Nikki Haley and are ready for new leadership.”
The big mover in the poll (and not in a good way) was U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham – who is also facing a reelection fight in 2014. The liberal Senator has seen his support among self-identified Republicans in South Carolina collapse over the last eight months – and with good reason.
In February, 71.6 percent of Palmetto State Republicans (and GOP-leaning voters) approved of the job Graham was doing, compared to 17.4 percent who disapproved. Today, Graham’s approval rating among Republicans has plunged to 45.2 percent – with more than 40 percent disapproving.
That’s a seismic shift … one which presents real problems for the incumbent in the event one of his primary opponents gains traction with the GOP electorate.
U.S. President Barack Obama has seen his support in South Carolina slide as well … although his decline is nowhere near as pronounced as Graham’s. In February, Obama’s job approval rating among South Carolinians stood at 47.6 percent – with 45.2 percent disapproving. This month Obama’s approval rating has fallen to 40.7 percent – while those who disapprove of his performance now total 51.7 percent.
Of course Obama’s numbers are positively lustrous compared to how South Carolinians view the U.S. Congress, though. In February 14.1 percent approved of Congress’ job performance (compared to 75.5 percent who disapproved). Those numbers have – amazingly – gotten worse. Now only 6.7 percent of South Carolinians approve of Congress’ performance, compared to 86.5 who disapprove.
Winthrop surveyed 887 South Carolina respondents from October 19-27, 2013. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percent.