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Winthrop University professor Scott Huffmon is aggressively defending the results of a recent poll which showed S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley with an abysmal 34.6 percent approval rating.

Earlier this week, SCGOP executive director Matt Moore released a memo to the party’s executive committee calling into question the validity of the poll.

“This poll is highly questionable,” Moore wrote. “It has President Barack Obama polling 12 points better in South Carolina than he’s doing nationally. Do you honestly think Barack Obama is massively more popular in South Carolina than he is nationwide? I don’t.”

(To read Moore’s memo, click here).

Huffmon counters that the Winthrop poll showed Obama’s approval rating among South Carolinians at 44.8 percent – which is roughly identical to his national approval rating.

Huffmon – who released a poll in 2010 predicting Haley’s victory – has also come under fire from Democrats within the last year (which would seem to indicate that he’s doing something right).

Speaking of Democrats, Huffmon explained why his sample included roughly the same number of Democrats as Republicans in a state that overwhelmingly voters “R” in general elections.

“While thirty or so percent of all registered voters are Democrats, only about 20 percent or so of those who actually show up on election day are Democrats,” he said. “I base that number on our October 2010 poll of likely gubernatorial voters.  You remember that poll, right?  The one the Democrats accused of bias?  The one that correctly predicted Haley’s victory?”

“An additional factor contributing to Republican victory after Republican victory is that among independents, most lean toward one of the parties and among leaners, significantly more lean toward the Republican party than the Democratic party,” Huffmon added.

To read the rest of Huffmon’s rebuttal, click on the link below …