EVANGELICAL CANDIDATES STRUGGLE …
|| By FITSNEWS || Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and former Florida governor Jeb Bush remain the early favorites of early voting South Carolina “Republicans,” according to a new poll from Winthrop University.
Walker is receiving 13.6 percent support, according to the survey, while Bush is drawing 12.7 percent. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz – the early favorite of Tea Party voters – came in third at 8.1 percent, followed by home state U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (7.6 percent), U.S. Senator Rand Paul (6.2 percent) and New Jersey governor Chris Christie (5 percent).
The rest of the field is as follows: Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (4.9 percent), former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (4.9 percent), U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (4 percent), former Texas governor Rick Perry (1.9 percent), billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump (1.9 percent), Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (0.3 percent).
A whopping 25.1 percent of GOP primary voters indicated they were “not sure” of who they supported at this early stage of the race.
The poll results are obviously a huge disappointment for Huckabee and Santorum – who have performed well in South Carolina in previous presidential primary elections due to the state’s disproportionately high concentration of evangelical voters.
Still, pollster Scott Huffmon noted “poll participants who identify as Evangelicals could be a strong source of potential support for Huckabee.”
In addition to getting a snapshot of the race as it stands today, the poll asked GOP primary voters which candidates they would “consider voting for.”
Huckabee led that list with 51.6 percent – just ahead of Bush (49 percent), Perry and Rubio (43.5 percent apiece), Cruz, (43.2 percent), Paul (42.5 percent) and Walker (39.9 percent).
The Winthrop poll surveyed 956 GOP primary voters in South Carolina by landline and cell phones between April 4-12. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percent. Winthrop’s polling has prompted controversy in recent weeks – most notably related to the wording of questions related to a proposed gas tax increase (see HERE and HERE). Having said that, we see no reason to doubt its results related to the presidential race – especially seeing as they are consistent with the results of prior surveys.