INCUMBENT “REPUBLICAN” FACES TOUGHER-THAN-EXPECTED REELECTION BATTLE IN FOUR-WAY RACE
A month ago, Public Policy Polling (PPP) released the results of a survey showing incumbent “Republican” Nikki Haley in a dogfight with S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen.
According to PPP – which has been remarkable accurate in recent Palmetto State races – Haley led Sheheen by a 39-36 margin among voters who had made up their minds. All told, Haley led Sheheen by a 49-46 percent margin.
This week, The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier and a trio of television stations commissioned a new poll on the governor’s race that shows a dramatically different lay of the land … at least on the surface.
According to The Post and Courier poll, Haley is up on Sheheen by a whopping 13 percentage points in a head-to-head race – 53-40 percent (with seven percent undecided). That’s good news for the governor. Very good news.
The bad news? When the pollsters open the race up to a four-way competition – adding the names of “Independent Republican” Tom Ervin and Libertarian nominee Steve French to the mix – Haley’s lead evaporates.
In that race, Sheheen is well within striking distance – trailing Haley by only four points, 46-42 percent.
“Going under fifty percent when alternatives are presented is bad news for her,” one national pollster told FITS.
The four-way ballot question was posed to 650 likely voters – and its results have a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points, the Post and Courier reported. The head-to-head ballot question was posed to 1,000 “potential voters.”
Ervin has vowed to spend big bucks on his candidacy – which kicked off this summer with a successful petition drive to get his name on the ballot. French’s campaign has spent just $9,000 – but a spokesman says the Lowcountry businessman is beginning an aggressive fundraising push.
If either of those candidates gains traction, Haley could be in real trouble come November …