Governor Nikki Haley trails her old Democratic rival Vincent Sheheen in new survey results released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling. Haley was behind the Kershaw state senator 46 percent to 44 percent in the telephone poll of 520 South Carolinians.
While PPP is seen as a left-leaning poll, these results are similar to the more neutral Winthrop Poll from last week. That Winthrop Poll found the governor had only a 40 percent approval rating among South Carolina voters.
“I think it’s just a reflection of the fact that, not only do Democrats dislike her, but she has a fair amount of Republicans who aren’t happy with her, either,” PPP director Tom Jensen told South Carolina Radio Network. The study found 70 percent of self-identified moderates favored Sheheen over Haley.
However, the poll found that Haley’s support amongst conservatives was still strong enough to hold off a potential Republican challenger in 2014. Haley led a theoretical matchup against Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell 58-26, and State Treasurer Curtis Loftis 66-18 among Republican voters, the survey found.
PPP said it sureveyed 520 South Carolina voters over the weekend and an additional oversample of 506 likely Republican voters. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.
The same poll found that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) enjoys a lot more support from his conservative base than he did a year ago. Graham currently holds a 66 percent approval rating among likely GOP primary voters in South Carolina, according to the survey.
Among those GOP voters, 51 percent said they would favor Graham as the party’s nominee in 2014 while 40 percent wanted someone “more conservative.” A similar 2011 PPP poll found Graham trailing a generic conservative opponent by 15 points, Jensen said.