CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — In South Carolina, the Republican primary is a one-two race between former President Donald J. Trump and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, according to a recent CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
Trump, despite the 91 felony charges he faces across four indictments, still leads among Republican primary voters in the Palmetto State, with 53% of would-be voters stating they back the former president. Haley sits second, with 22% of the vote going her way. In a distant third place is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who claims 11% of the vote.
Senator Tim Scott (SC-R), who has focused his campaign on Iowa, is in fourth with six percent of would-be voters claiming him as their GOP choice.
The poll, conducted from Oct. 18 to Oct. 25, gives one of the more recent snapshots of would-be primary voter’s perspectives regarding the several GOP candidates still in the running. And in a state like South Carolina, which plays a heavy role in picking presidential candidates, it can provide insight into the direction several earlier primaries may lean.
South Carolina — billed as the First in the South — is set to vote on the Republican candidate on Feb. 24.
In the GOP primary leading up to the 2016 general presidential election, Trump carried the state, winning by nearly 10 percentage points over Marco Rubio.
Trump also carried the state in the general election in 2016 and 2020. It is a state in which the former president, regardless of election denial and the events of Jan. 6, 2021, remains deeply supported.
Of Trump supporters in South Carolina, 82% said they would “definitely” support the former president. For Haley, that number sits at 42%, indicating that her supporters are more open to having their minds changed.
Where Haley closes the gap with Trump is among voters with college degrees and independents who said they are likely to vote in the GOP primary.
Among voters with a college degree, Trump and Haley are tied at 32%. For independents, Trump leads by less than five percent: 38% to 34%.
Despite the differences among South Carolinian would-be primary voters, the data appears to agree on the general disapproval of President Joe Biden.
Sixty-four percent of voters don’t support the job Biden is doing. Among people of color, the president’s approval rating jumps to 58%. To add, 78% of registered Democrats in the state also approve of the job Biden is doing as president.
With four months to go until South Carolina’s GOP primary, many in the state have time to change their mind, but what remains unchanging, based on the data, is the support Trump continues to have among his base in the Palmetto state.
Source : ABC News