Haley's Approval Rating Dips Into Negative Territory
Thurmond, Campbell win state popularity contest, even in death; Sanford fares the worst
A new poll suggests that Gov. Nikki Haley is losing favor among S.C. voters.
The Democratic polling firm, Public Policy Polling, based in Raleigh, said Friday that the Lexington politician's favorability rating had slipped to 41 percent in August, with 43 percent disapproving of her job performance.
That's a slight dip from the firm's last poll in June when voters were split 42-41 percent in her favor.
Her 2010 Democratic opponent, Vincent Sheheen, received a positive favorability rating (27-25 percent, with 47 percent unsure). However, the poll said, if another election were held today, Haley would win again, and with a bigger margin than her 51-47 percent victory last year. Forty-nine percent of those polled said they would vote for Haley, versus 43 percent for Sheheen.
"South Carolinians are not particularly fond of their new Governor Nikki Haley, and they like her 2010 opponent Vincent Sheheen slightly better, but voters are still giving her the benefit of the doubt," pollsters said.
"Unlike some of her controversial counterparts, like Florida’s Rick Scott and Ohio’s John Kasich, Haley is a rare governor of the 2010 Tea Party breed who has not turned voters off so much that they have buyers’ remorse. Despite a slightly underwater 41-43 job approval rating, she would still defeat Sheheen, and by even a slightly larger margin than last fall," pollsters added.
As for the state's senator's, Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham, both polled favorably -- DeMint at 47-32 percent, and Graham at 41-39 percent.
Perhaps more interesting is the poll's favorability ratings for the state's politicians who are either dead or departed. Though deceased, political icon Strom Thurmond, and former Republican congressman and Gov. Carroll Campbell, polled highest. Thurmond polled 46-29 percent favorable; Campbell pulled a 45-19 percent favorability rating.
The big loser? Former Gov. Mark Sanford. Just 28 percent of those polled held a favorable opinion of the disgraced politician, versus 58 percent who held an unfavorable opinion.
"Mark Sanford is still persona non grata, particularly to Democrats and independents," pollsters remarked. "His overall 26-58 favorability rating is helped by a 39-42 with his own GOP."
PPP surveyed 587 South Carolina voters from August 25-28. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus four percent. Though PPP is a Democratic pollster, the organization said 79 percent of respondents identified themselves as moderate to very conservative.
For complete details on the poll, including crosstabs, click here.