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Dem Poll: Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump In SC Dogfight




A new survey produced by a Democratic polling firm in North Carolina has tongues wagging in South Carolina.

According to the survey, released this week by Raleigh, N.C.-based Public Policy Polling, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump is clinging to a two-point lead over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in South Carolina – long-regarded as a dark red “Republican” stronghold.

That would put the race within the survey’s margin of error.

Trump leads Clinton 41-39 percent in the Palmetto State, according to PPP – with Libertarian party nominee Gary Johnson drawing five percent and Green party nominee Jill Stein drawing two percent.

Thirteen percent of respondents said they were undecided.

“The closeness is a function of Democrats being a lot happier with their party’s candidate than Republicans are with theirs,” PPP pollsters noted.  “Clinton is winning 84 percent of the Democratic vote, compared to Trump’s 77 percent of the Republican vote.”

Or it could be because the poll was commissioned by the S.C. Democratic Party (SCDP).

South Carolina “Republicans” scoffed at the notion Trump could lose the Palmetto State – which hasn’t gone to a Democratic presidential candidate in forty years.

The last Democrat to win South Carolina?  Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Liberal GOP nominee Mitt Romney carried South Carolina by more than ten percentage points in 2012, while John McCain carried the state by nine percentage points in 2008.

George W. Bush won South Carolina in 2000 by more than 16 percentage points, and by 17 percentage points in 2004.

“(The poll) is bunk,” one GOP official told us. “Trump is probably up by 5-8 points – not the 10 points we’re used to – but still ahead.”

Democrats disputed that contention.

“These poll results confirm what has been apparent to me for quite some time: South Carolinians are rejecting the failed policies of the Republican Party and the dangerous divisiveness of their leader, Donald Trump,” party chairman Jamie Harrison said in a statement.  “The Clinton campaign is already committed to pursuing a 50-state strategy, and this proves the wisdom of that approach.”

Trump won South Carolina’s “First in the South” presidential primary convincingly – even though the state’s “Republican’ governor Nikki Haley and most of its GOP establishment were working against him.

PPP claims to have surveyed 1,290 South Carolina voters between August 9-10 on behalf of the SCDP.  Eighty percent of respondents answered by phone, while 20 percent answered online.  The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percent.

PPP has produced some very accurate results in South Carolina in recent years, although it fared poorly during the 2014 election cycle – consistently overestimating the strength of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Vincent Sheheen.