A recent poll by Winthrop University has sent shockwaves through the South Carolina Republican party as they prepare for the state’s primary election. According to the poll, former Governor of South Carolina and presidential candidate Nikki Haley has surged to 18% support from potential primary voters, trailing only the state’s governor Ron DeSantis at 20%. Despite neither candidate officially announcing their candidacy, this poll shows that the party base is split and the race looks to be a tight one. However, who can deny the leader among them all, Former President Donald Trump, who sits at a magnificent 41% in support according to the poll results.
Poll Shows Republican Candidate Nikki Haley On Brink Of Toppling DeSantis In South Carolina https://t.co/GRyKDakhkj
— US Burning (@UsBurning) April 12, 2023
Though Haley sits in third place nationally in the Republican field according to the Real Clear Politics average, she is well positioned for success in her home state. In fact, while Trump’s lead is impressive, Haley has quadrupled her average support in her own state, proving that her popularity runs deep among South Carolinian Republicans.
2024 South Carolina Republican Primary
• Trump — 41%
• DeSantis — 20%
• Haley — 18%
• T. Scott — 7%
• Pence — 5%
• Pompeo — 2%
• Sununu — 1%
Winthrop University | 485 RV | E: ±4.5%https://t.co/B66s8I2psY
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) April 12, 2023
Scott Huffmon, the director of the Winthrop Poll, has noted that despite DeSantis’ lead being regarded nationally as a potential rival to Trump, Haley presents a legitimate challenge to him in the deep-red state. Indeed, this poll could be viewed as a major victory for Haley, who has consistently been seen as an outsider in GOP politics by establishment insiders.
Senator Tim Scott, who recently announced his own exploratory committee for president, had to settle for 7% support in the poll while other prominent Republicans like Vice President Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu were all found to be significantly less popular.
The South Carolina primary will be a major event in the Republican primary race to be sure, and the contenders now know they will have to mobilize every supporter in the state to secure a victory. With so much on the line, it remains to be seen how each candidate will try to shift their messaging and approach in the coming months in response to these poll results.