Monday, May 24, 2010

Looking at the Haley situation

One of the frustrations you face as a pollster is sometimes you have a survey in the field and then something happens to make it obsolete. We polled South Carolina over the weekend but with the revelations about Nikki Haley this morning the Republican primary for Governor may have undergone a fundamental change since we interviewed GOP voters over the weekend. We'll still release the numbers tomorrow since they'll if nothing else tell us what the state of the race was before this new information came out.

Will this be fatal to Haley's prospects? It's hard to say. Republicans voters, including even in South Carolina, have been relatively forgiving to their sex scandal politicians. Last we looked David Vitter's approval with Republicans was 62/19. John Ensign's was 68/19. Even Mark Sanford's was still decent at 50/34. And Haley's alleged transgressions, if true, don't seem as serious as any of those.

Judging by those numbers Haley might be able to make it but there are some circumstances that make her case different. Even though she's polling well, most voters in South Carolina still know little or nothing about her. For many this will be their first impression of her and that will be a problem.

The biggest thing that will be interesting to see is whether GOP voters are as forgiving of a cheating Republican woman as they are of a cheating Republican man. We've seen GOP voters show huge indignation towards Democrats who cheat but little toward Republican men who cheat. Will the reaction to Haley be more like the one toward the Democrats or toward the Republican men? The answer to that will likely determine whether or not Haley is the next Governor of South Carolina.

14 comments:

Jon said...

What "revelations"? It's an allegation, which Haley has denied.

Anonymous said...

Better cheating than she like to play softball, after all.

DBL said...

I find it hard to believe that Sanford and Ensign would have such approval ratings after the affairs. Sanford did his bit on the public's time and Ensign is being investigated by the FBI.

Haley's alleged affair occurred before she was in a major public post. That shouldn't hurt too much, unless she denies it and actually had the affair.

Anonymous said...

Will Folks is an adamant supporter of Nikki Haley's. He would not have posted anything negative about her had he not had to (ie, a news story coming.) They are still good friends, which is why Nikki thought she could get away with their affair never becoming public. And also why Will spent the first half of his post blaming dirty political operatives for their affair. Their affair is something everyone in Columbia has known for quite awhile. We need a governor down here who wants to be governor, not another Sanford-type politician who views it as a stepping stone into national politics. There is a lot to clean up and get accomplished after 8 years of Sanford. Haley is not interested in that part of the job.

SCOTT WADE, GREENVILLE, S.C. said...

The Stoning of Nikki Haley based on hearsay of a questionable character. Anytime someone starts off with "let me be honest with you" diatribes it reeks of a 1980's used car or mobile home salesman. Wonder what rea trash was held over Folks head to roll this one out. S.C. sometimes stands for SURVIVAL at any COST.

Mark said...

I agree with Jon. One man makes an allegation. The woman denies it. He said. She said.

I do question the timing. Why now? If he felt so bad about it, why didn't he release this "information" earlier. I am sure that her surge in the polls and the other candidates being desperate to sabotage Nikki's candidacy has nothing to do with it, right?

Doc's Soapbox said...

Former staffer verifies it.

http://www.free-times.com/index.php?cat=1992209084141467&act=post&pid=11862405103707328

Anonymous said...

Actually, Will Folks is targeting Jenny Sanford, who had Folks tossed from his gig in 2005 after the domestic abuse thing broke for him.

See, I can anonymously post stuff to the Internet, too!

Anonymous said...

I think this story is accurate because of the background. The blogger was (and remains) her staunch supporter. He claims -- and I am sure he will be substantiated -- that over the last few days he was contacted by Haley's rival campaign and advised that proof of the affair would be leaked sometime next week. They were giving Folks the opportunity to corroborate or be taken down. There is nothing that Folks will gain -- and everything that Halley stands to lose. Politics may be dirty but that doesn't always mean that "dirty" equals "untrue."

I suspect by next week Folks' allegations will be substantiated -- especially if Halley is gaining steam on her denial.

The worst thing she can do is deny -- and then have it all blow up in her face.

Exit question: If the story is substantiated as I suspect, will Jennie Sanford withdraw her support -- to do less, I would think, is hypocrtical.

Christy AKReport said...

"Will Folks is an adamant supporter of Nikki Haley's."

thats a lie.

Her numbers will skyrocket as conservatives rally around her.

An American View said...

Two statements. Jensen decides which is the truth and writes from that perspective.

Jensen has an agenda and a biased approach to promoting it. Maybe Folks and Jensen are part of the don't, don't crowd, for Jensen is certainly not asking any hard questions or folks, and Folks has clammed up now that he is national news.

Haley should simply sue Folks for slander.

Kevin K. said...

I think it is funny that conservatives are jumping behind Haley against this allegation, claiming it is baseless...

Sarah Palin's comments are quite hypocritical - she attacks Folks for doing the same thing she has essentially done.

I am sure, with enough investigation, the truth will be uncovered...

Anonymous said...

If it's untrue, there would be a slander suit already filed. But there's not. Because it's true. And all of her supporters will quickly change their tune to, 'well it's understandable, her husband was overseas'.

Anonymous said...

A woman who cheats on her husband is an adulteress, she is wrong to do so...
A man who would cheat with that woman is an adulterer and home-wrecker and family destroyer.
It is a sad day when any family gets hurt by such activities, but it is even sadder if it ruins our best chance for a real reformer for governor.

 
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