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2016

First In The South: Donald Trump Still Dominating

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NEW POLL SHOWS TRUMP WITH 2-TO-1 LEAD IN SOUTH CAROLINA

|| By FITSNEWS ||  Two days before his latest visit to South Carolina, another poll is showing GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump with a commanding lead in the Palmetto State’s “First in the South” presidential primary.

According to a new Monmouth University survey (.pdf here), Trump is the first choice of 30 percent of likely “Republican” primary voters in the Palmetto State – giving him a 2-to-1 advantage over retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who is supported by 15 percent of likely primary-goers.

“Political experience is not a particularly valuable commodity this primary season,” Monmouth’s pollsters said, noting that 61 percent of respondents want “a president from outside of government who can bring a new approach to Washington” as opposed to only 28 percent who prefer “someone with government experience who knows how to get things done.”

Those voters overwhelmingly prefer “The Donald” – results consistent with other recent “First in the South” polling.

Of interest?  Trump leads the field in every ideological category, drawing 33 percent support from those voters who described themselves as “very conservative,” 31 percent from those who described themselves as “somewhat conservative” and 23 percent from those who described themselves as “moderate to liberal.”

That’s quite a cross-section of ideological support …

Other than Trump and Carson, no “Republican” candidate received more than ten percent of the vote.  The rest of the field consisted of former Florida governor Jeb Bush (9 percent), U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (6 percent), former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (6 percent), U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas (5 percent) and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker (4 percent).

Prior to Trump’s meteoric rise, Bush and Walker were the early South Carolina frontrunners …

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also drew four percent in the survey, another embarrassing showing in his own backyard.

“It’s interesting that Ben Carson, whose parents come from neighboring Georgia, is outpolling the state’s own senator as a second choice,” Monmouth’s pollsters noted.

Meanwhile Ohio governor John Kasich, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky each drew three percent support.  None of the other six candidates in the race eclipsed the two percent threshold, while 11 percent of respondents said they were undecided.

For those of you keeping score at home, Monmouth surveyed 453 likely GOP primary voters from August 20-23 via telephone.  Its poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.

What do we make of this data?

Well, since you asked, here’s an interesting take on it from our friends at Market Research Foundation (MRF).

“You’ve got 51 percent of the Palmetto State’s GOP electorate backing a candidate who has never held elected office,” MRF’s analysts’ noted.  “With 11 percent of the state’s primary voters undecided, that leaves the remaining fourteen candidates – all of whom have held elected office – fighting for 38 percent of the vote.”

That breakdown could shift even further in favor of the outsiders in the event the economy goes (further) south.

“As global economic headwinds intensify – further straining America’s already less-than-robust consumer ‘recovery’ – will the outsiders reap additional electoral benefits?  Or can any of the conventional candidates find a way to tap into the prevailing angst?” its analysts wondered.

Good questions … in fact the answers to those questions will likely to determine the eventual GOP nominee.

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