GOP, Democratic Pollsters Agree: Nikki Haley Is Vulnerable

EVEN BEFORE DATA BREACH SCANDAL, FIRST TERM “REPUBLICAN” WAS FACING A TOUGH REELECTION FIGHT S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley faces an uphill battle if she hopes to win a second term as governor of the Palmetto State, consultants of both parties tell FITS.  And Haley’s mishandling of a major scandal involving…


S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley faces an uphill battle if she hopes to win a second term as governor of the Palmetto State, consultants of both parties tell FITS.  And Haley’s mishandling of a major scandal involving hundreds of millions of dollars – and reams of confidential taxpayer and business data – isn’t helping her case.

It’s obviously been several months since Haley’s approval ratings were last gauged via a public survey, but several recent internal polls reportedly show little “yeast” in the governor’s numbers since this spring.

Based on polling and focus group research collected prior to the 2012 general election (and prior to the massive data breach that rocked Haley’s Department of Revenue) – a pair of Palmetto political operatives (one Republican, one Democrat) have concluded that Haley is vulnerable in a GOP primary election.  They also say she’s likely to lose a general election against a credible Democratic opponent.

Both agreed that Haley’s approval rating among all registered voters in South Carolina was in the low forty percent range prior to the SCDOR scandal, while her approval rating among Republicans was in the mid-sixty percent range.  If a GOP primary were held today, these partisans agree, Haley would win.  However were she to face Democrat Vincent Sheheen again (or a comparable foe) in a general election, she would lose.

Obviously those predictions are based on existing impressions – i.e. before any money is spent on paid media that aims to educate voters regarding what a colossal disappointment Haley has been on virtually every issue she’s addressed since taking office last January.

“She’s between 5-7 percentage points away from having some real problems in a primary,” our Republican strategist speculated, adding that if the SCDOR scandal continues to drag Haley down in the press, she could be “ripe for the picking” in a primary.

It’s been conventional wisdom for some time now that Haley will face a primary opponent in 2014 – and that this challenge will come from the ideological right.  In fact given the extent to which Haley has been blowing tax dollars (and alienating fiscal conservatives and Tea Partiers), it would be virtually impossible for anyone to run against her from the left in a GOP primary.

Assuming Haley wins the GOP nod, though, that’s when her troubles really begin.

According to the strategists we spoke with, Haley’s numbers are exceedingly weak among independents – especially in the Charleston region of the state.  Focus group research has reportedly also revealed that Haley’s supporters aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to reelect her.

“Her voters aren’t motivated,” our Republican consultant acknowledged.  “And they express many of the same doubts (regarding) her character that Democrats and independents express.”

All of that spells real trouble for Haley in a general election.

Also, sources tell FITS that Democrats are actively working to ensure that there is no Green Party candidate on the ballot in 2014 – as there was in 2010.  The presence of such a candidate resulted in a three percent swing in Haley’s favor – which was not quite enough to hand the election to the Democrat, but close.

Finally, speculation is mounting that there will be some sort of libertarian-leaning challenge to Haley in the general election as well.

If such a challenge materializes – and draws even a small percentage of the vote – it could spell doom for Haley’s reelection bid.

Our prediction? Haley will face a credible primary challenge as well as a third party challenge from the right in the general election.  We also expect Haley to start tacking back hard to the right any day now … hoping that South Carolinians have short memories.


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Cancerman November 15, 2012 at 12:55 am

Anyone the votes for this idiot again deserves what they get which is fucked badly….

Silvio Dante November 15, 2012 at 8:22 am

According to the poll, 16 idiots and counting will vote for this colossal screw-up again. But American voters are used to not being able to see the forest through the trees…last Tuesday’s presidential election is a prime exmaple.

Smirks November 15, 2012 at 9:20 am

The poll doesn’t say “should Nikki Haley win a second term,” it says “will Nikki Haley win a second term.” I voted yes myself. I have zero confidence that enough informed voters will show up at the primary to oust her there, and am quite confident the same people that held their nose when voting for her the first time will vote for her again in the general election.

In fact, I’d wager she’ll high-five Lindsey Graham on a great reelection despite so many people supposedly hating their guts.

Silvio Dante November 15, 2012 at 9:31 am

Can’t argue with that Smirks…and you got that wager line right.

Priestly November 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm

She’ll beat turkey-neck Davis and others in the primary. Dems will elect Sheheen in the primary. The GOP machine will pump money into the race like lube oil and yes she’ll win again. People will have long forgotten the DOR fiasco, her daughter’s summer job, the Savannah River sellout. Smirks is right.

Soft Sigh from Hell November 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm

“Smirks is right.”


Thomas November 15, 2012 at 1:48 am

The only idiots around here are the racist assholes in the General Assembly that have watered down the function and role of the office of Governor/LT Governor to the point of why have the office. The reason? In case a black man was to be elected, their worst fear, then not to worry as the real power is in the GA. So get off her and remember, the assholes in IT at the DOR are the idiots who let this happen. All the Governor can do was get a report from Etters.

She caught a wave from the 2010 elections. It played well having a female as Governor. Get over it. You can not blame this on her, non what so ever.

Annoyed November 15, 2012 at 8:06 am

Thomas, This happened on her watch. The DOR didn’t have adequate security on records that every other state makes a priority to protect. No other state or federal taxing authority has ever had this happen. She sat on the information for over two weeks so she could find a way to “spin” this to protect herself.

She appointed Etter to the DOR position and he allowed an ex-TERI, retired, bureaucrat to run that agency. So far no one has been fired. Etter and his Deputy should be shown the door immediately and someone hired with EXPERIENCE in these matters.

You’re right those guys at DOR are assholes. This is totally Etter and his Deputy. However her actions after the fact were absolutely wrong. Her failure to replace these individuals is absolutely wrong. He failure to immediately notify the citizens of this state was absolutely wrong. That’s why she’s vulnerable.

Silvio Dante November 15, 2012 at 8:25 am


She didn’t deserve the GOP nomination before this happened…and she has 2 more years to add more screw-ups to her ledger. You’d have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to see that. But then again, many voters were deaf, dumb, and blind in 2010 and that is why we are where we are.

Thomas November 15, 2012 at 9:15 am

I hear you. I am frustrated too. What must happen is not knee jerk reactions. Looks “presidential” but really is not pragmatic. The onus of the situation was that law enforcement came in and allowed to the hacking to continue in order to catch the thieves. Have you ever heard of a ploy to stop crime? have you ever heard of such irresponsibility with our tax records, private account info, social security numbers….to allow the crime to continue in order to catch the thieves? I have not heard of this investigative technique? Who authorized this? SLED?

I am willing to wait for a full report then pull the trigger. Unfortunately, if SLED or the Attorney General or even the local federal authorities is doing the investigation, I have no trust in their expertise to prosecute the crime. I am still waiting for indictments from an illegal gambling ring that includes Magistrate Judges, State Senators, county deputies, a 30 year Sheriff, and obvioously a methof to launder the cash profits. I have no trust in a Federal Prosecutor that would indict Lanny Ray Gunter on running an illegal gambling enterprise and NOT confiscate any property or business gained from the laundered money profits. To have illegal gambling, there must be money laundering. This is the nexus of the Patriot Act,

Anyway, I wait for the report then make a decision as is the Governor.

Not a lawyer/Stayed at Holiday Inn express November 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

Almost every narcotics case is a “crime that is allowed to continue” type of investigation. Also, there are the domestic terrorism cases where the bad guys thinks he is going to blow up some important building only to find out the FBI has given him a fake bomb.

I’m not saying that I always agree with the technique, but it is commonly used in amny types of investigations.

Thomas November 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Think access with proper DOR credentials with an overseas IP accessing our vital records. We should have slammed the door shut as soon as it was discovered. Even retired prosecutors claim these cases are impossible to get convictions due to proximities and extradition treaties. Seems our IT guys are real soft in programming skills, even without proper Computer Science degrees?

So far we have uncrypted data which is serious and avoidable. Who’s credentials were used?

The new director has full authority review current policy and make changes…so does the GA

RINO November 15, 2012 at 6:51 am

In her press conference yesterday, she sounded like she wasn’t running again, as she kept talking about the next governor. If she was going to run again, would she be talking about her future, not somebody else’s?

shifty henry November 15, 2012 at 6:56 am

She has been known in the past to get tongue-tied, and a very nice tongue it is.

pluffmudder November 15, 2012 at 7:50 am

My inside sources say that Haley knows she can’t win and isn’t even planning on running. She was hoping for a Romney win and a job in his administration.

Thomas November 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

It really is a no brainer the she will not run again.

Sammy November 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm

She talks with forked tongue and in tongues. You can’t believe a damn thing she says.

Raspy November 15, 2012 at 7:07 am

No way the bitch is going back in for another term. “Vulnerable” is the euphemism of the year when describing her political situation. She has done nothing but stuff her pockets and the pockets of her family and friends since being elected. She has alienated more and more people with each passing week since taking office. If she were running today and the Democrats were running Idi Amin, Idi would be our next governor.

John November 15, 2012 at 7:36 am

Bring on Governor Loftis!

Lance Riprock November 15, 2012 at 8:05 am

Not only is she vulnerable, she’s also easy.

Raspy November 15, 2012 at 8:36 am

My vote might be for sale. Does she swallow and do anal?

Lance Riprock November 15, 2012 at 9:19 am

She manages to be free and cheap at the same time.

Torch November 15, 2012 at 8:19 am

Her failure points out a glaring weakness in our elected officials. The inability to deal with cybersecurity. She is a control freak wanting more and more power so it does fall on her inability to govern and she should be blamed. Also, our US Senate is failing to deal with this ongoing issue but fortunately, I hope, the people in charge of the Federal systems do have a clue unlike our local cabinet appointees.

Nölff November 15, 2012 at 8:57 am

I think it’ll be a close race… and she might win. People are going to vote for her just because she has an (R) beside her name, regardless of her screw-ups and poor performance.

A lot of people in this state are misinformed and are oblivious to the news; like my parents.

drowning in this cesspool November 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

To a degree, you are right.
People are too busy, rather be reading or watching something else, taking care of children or off screwing around.
She should have NEVER been elected in the first place, if people were paying attention.
ALMOST EVERY, let me repeat,ALMOST EVERY decision, appointment, she has made has been an immature, incompetent, misinformed, immature, self serving screw up!

I’m a Republican and lean toward the Tea Party. I was fooled once. There is no education in the second kick of a mule! Especially one with manure on it’s hoofs.

Haley is a liar and is the State’s self imposed curse, just as O’bama is the self imposed curse on our country! They are one in the same and we will suffer for many generations, their reign of lying incompetence!

sc is on wrong path November 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm

At a minimum, straight party ticket voting should be banned because it only causes uninformed voters and others who don’t pay attention to issues to have undue influence…when they really don’t care if they were to read about the candidates!!

cunning cat November 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

The Obama victory portends a Republican advantage for a mid-term election. Her handling of the DOR crisis does create vulnerability in a primary, where none existed before the breach.

jimlewis,owb November 15, 2012 at 9:39 am

Roll on Gypsy Queen Dooh Nibor, dammit roll on !!

jed November 15, 2012 at 9:39 am

Sara Palin is her hero…can anyone say “Governor McConnell” with a straight (no pun intended) face?

Peter Allen November 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

Is Glenn similiar to Lindsey when it comes to love?

insider November 15, 2012 at 10:12 am

What will an unemployed single mom do? now that the parents have retired again?

just saying November 15, 2012 at 10:23 am

One more factor: any day now Queen Jean and the Supremes are going to rule that Trikki Nikki and Calculating Curtis were absolutely wrong to require state employees and retirees to pay for health insurance premiums that the Legislature had provided for in the budget. Their vote, abetted by Raunchy Richard Eckstrom, came AFTER the legislature had quit for the year.

That’s another 450,000 voters directly impacted, and all 4.5 million citizens get to watch as lump sum retroactive adjustments are added to state paychecks.

Buffy November 15, 2012 at 11:49 am

I hope no one paid any money for these polls – even the drunk homeless guys hanging out in the Library could have told you our “Dear Leader” was in trouble.

vicupstate November 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm


Sammy November 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Naw she’s a Teflon coated wench.

vicupstate November 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Nicki Minaj has a better chance of being Governor in 2015 than Mikki Haley.

Charleston is the swing area, she has already lost it. She bought her ticket to one-term city a long time ago. Hope that speech was worth it. The only queston is will she even run.

Reluctant Republican November 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Anyone but Haley. I really can barely stand to pictures of her vacant smile and hear “Its a great day in SC.” She is a pathological liar and an incompetent, vapid dope.

About the only thing she has not bungled is finding a sponsor for the Heritage. The rest of her term has been once scandal and misstep after another.

Where to begin?

Savanannah River Sell Out
DOT Contactor payment screw up
ESC Bankruptcy
The petulant (aborted) legislature call back
Resuurecting the BCB after it was good as dead
Failure of restructuring
Staff salary increases
Largest Budget in State history
Ethics Sham Show Trial
Questionable Fund Raising activities
Misuse of State Plane
Comical hirings and subsequent resignations of agency heads
Retirement Fund Scandal
Darla Moore replacement lies
The illegal midnight health premium increase
SLED sex scandal
Michael’s aborted wine cellar
Occupy Columbia judical set back
Nepotism at the gift shop
Veto of the entire Arts Commission
“Little Girl” comment
Wasteful International travel boondoggles
Amazon flip flop
The recent Election disasters
Romeny’s primary defeat
Immigration law declared unconstitutional
John Rainey allegations
Spats with Loftis
The unemployment rate
The Folks, etc. infidelity allegations
Michael’s and Nikki’s Strip Club adventures
The Temple Funds scandal

And now, the worst screw up, on her watch – maybe the worst in SC histoty – the great DOR data theft, althouigh it us hard to blame her for this. But the delay in going public is troubling.

I am sure I have left some out. There are so many.

Seriuosly, is there a worse performance in recent SC history? Maybe Sanford’s adultery nightmare was more embarrassing nationally, but it never hurt real people other than his family.

Haley’s mistakes have caused real misery to real people. Potentially, to millions.

She needs to go.

ceilidh10 November 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm

now just a second, she is a Rising Star in the GOP…how dare you speak evil of our Indian goddess????

Where is Mr. T Baghar to defend her honor?

Reluctant Republican November 15, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Sorry about the spelling errors, I was edumacated by the SC public skools.

ceilidh10 November 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm

maybe she can go live with her Evil Twin Brother, Bobby Jindal, after she gets her ass thrown out of SC.

bridgewitch November 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm

since the DOR fiasco, this has become a topic of conversation among many people I know. Most agree on 2 things: 1) She was planning on a move to DC and 2)an egg sucking dog stands a better chance of winning. I personally stated that I would vote for the dog or Jake Knotts as an alternative. I hope Sheehen or someone who can correctly identify sh*t, smoke and mirrors becomes a viable candidate. Oh wait…this is SC…


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