COLUMBIA — Incumbent Republican Nikki Haley of Lexington holds a double-digit lead over her Democratic challenger, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden, in November’s race for governor, according to a poll released Thursday.
The automated phone survey of 750 likely S.C. voters, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research for Rasmussen Reports, found Haley leading Sheheen by 52 percent to 37 percent. Three percent of those surveyed said they liked some other candidate, and 7 percent were undecided. The margin of error for the poll was plus or minus 4 percentage points.
“Our campaign is very confident about our position in the race because of Governor Haley’s great record in office,” said Rob Godfrey, spokesman for the governor’s re-election campaign, “but we take nothing for granted and will work hard all the way to Election Day.”
The Sheheen camp responded the poll “is not a real indicator of the state of this race.”
“Right-leaning Rasmussen has proven nationally, and here in South Carolina in 2010, that their polls aren’t worth the paper they are printed on,” said Andrew Whalen, campaign manager for Sheheen. “Throughout the 2010 race their bogus and wildly inaccurate polls repeatedly showed Nikki Haley with similarly absurd leads in a race she barely won.”
Two previous polls, conducted last fall, put the race closer.
Haley led Sheheen by nine percentage points, 48-39, with 13 percent undecided in late October, according to Harper Polling, which conducted its poll for the blog Conservative Intelligence Briefing.
A poll conducted for the Democratic Governors Association earlier in October had Haley leading Sheheen 44 percent to 40 percent.
Haley and Sheheen faced each other in the 2010 governor’s race as well, with Haley winning by 4.5 percentage points.
A Winthrop Poll released Wednesday showed nearly half of South Carolinians approve of Haley’s job performance.
Of 877 South Carolinians surveyed in the Winthrop Poll earlier this month, 49.8 percent approve of the job being done by Haley. Among registered voters polled, 49.3 percent approve of the job that Haley is doing.
Of all those surveyed, 35 percent disapprove of Haley’s job performance, the lowest her disapproval rating has been in the poll of the general population. Among registered voters, 39.6 percent disapprove of her job performance. The poll’s margin of error for registered voters was plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Haley’s approval rating in the April poll is the highest it has been in any Winthrop Poll that has surveyed the general population since the former state representative took office in 2011.
South Carolina voters have not always been as fond of Haley. In December 2011, only a slight majority of Republican voters, 52.5 percent, approved of her job performance. Among all voters surveyed at the time – Republicans, Democrats and independents – only 34.6 percent approved of the governor’s job performance.
The (Columbia) State contributed